Grandparents were always an extremely important part of my life. My mother and father were very young when I was born. They had to work very hard to make a life for us. That is why I spent a big part of my childhood being watched by my grandparents. They were a second set of parents for me, but even better because they rarely punish you and they always spoil you rotten. Especially grandmothers.
Even though they love all of their grandchildren equally, nothing is as special as grandma’s relationship with her granddaughter. That is why I kept spending most of my childhood summers with them, even when I was old enough to take care of myself when my parents were working. That is also why I still kept coming back all throughout my teenage years. When I was older, I had some different ideas of what my summers should be. Still, that didn’t stop me to go visit almost every Sunday. It’s not a Sunday if I didn’t see any of my grandparents.
Couple of days ago, my grandmother passed away. She was my last living grandparent. It was a terrible thing for all of her children and grandchildren alike. She was a funny woman, by character and by presence. She was such a person, that even in her death, she didn’t let us stay sad for long. After her burial, we all gathered in her house. Numerous family and neighbors who really loved her. We spent the evening retelling her stories. We were remembering phrases she always repeated like a chant and enjoyed tales of her, from older relatives, that we haven’t heard before. By the end of that evening, all of us were in tears again. This time from laughter.
She was the best grandmother you could have wished for. That is why I wanted to write down some reasons why she, and grandmothers like her, are one of the most important relationships to have in your lifetime.
A grandmother will be the most loving person in your life. Sometimes she might be a little disappointed in you, but that will not change how she sees you. She doesn’t judge. When there is a problem you can’t tell your parents, or the problem is with your parents, she will gladly give the best advice she can come up with.
When you are a child, she will spoil you to your core, but she will still make sure to instill important values in you. She will remind you to be kind and thankful for everything you get in life, as small as it might seem.
My grandmother grew up in another time, when things were harder for everyone, but especially for women. She has lived a life before we were even planned and gone through obstacles that were way harder than the ones we face as young people today. Her life is filled with valuable experiences and that’s why she’ll always know just what to say.
A grandmother will teach you to laugh it off. When you’re stressed out and issues are chewing away at your patience, she will teach you to always remember the importance of laughter. Believe her because she has been through so much in her lifetime. She knows what really matters and she doesn’t care about the rest anymore. She will not take life too seriously because she already lived it.
A grandmother always wants to help. They don’t know what relaxing means. She is always the first to wake up in the morning, going about her chores. The moment one meal is finished, and she’s cleaning up the table, she’s already planning out the next one. She never takes a break and all she wants is to take care of her loved ones. Her role as the matriarch of the family is one the most important ones she will assume throughout her lifetime.
A grandmother gives hugs that are like no other in this world. Every hug is another trip to your childhood. In my grandmother’s embrace I felt the warmth of all those winter nights I spent sitting next to her fireplace while she was knitting. I felt the scent of freshly baked bread coming off of her hands. Her hugs are that wild patch of strawberries in her backyard she took care of, just for me. They are those bushes of roses in front of her house and the lilac tree in the corner of her front yard. Grandmother’s hugs are memories.
My grandmother is gone now and I really wish I could have had more time with her. I know she would have had more stories to tell me and more life lessons to teach me. If you have a special connection with your grandparents, cherish it. Get the most out of it while they are still with you. Not only will it make those dear, old souls immeasurably happy, it will give you some of the happiest memories of you life.
To all the grandmothers—I am so happy you exist.