This is a week overdue, but shouldn't go by without posting.
Last Wednesday was my Gram's birthday. She passed away from Alzheimer's almost 4 years ago now. It feels more time has passed and less time has passed and exactly that much time has passed all at the same time. Some of you may understand exactly what that means.
But I do miss her every single day. Every. Single. Day.
I was extremely close with my Gram. My mom was an only child, and my brother and I had the rapt attention of her parents. It was awesome. I wish I knew then how lucky I was. To get so much love from two people who were such a huge part of my childhood. Blessed. That's what I was. That's what I am.
But specifically, getting to have her for my Grandmother. I actually hit the grandmother lottery. Sorry to break it to y'all -- but I won. I got the one that I'm about to tell you about AND I got my Dad's mom who is amazing, feisty and about to turn 100 this summer (and will do my due diligence and work up a whole other posting fit for her.) I'm the Grandma jackpot winner. Commence being jealous.
Gram's birthday hit me hard, as it has every year since she has left us. But I've found some comfort in something. In the years since she's been gone, I've started to realize more and more, the things I do and the ways that I act that might as well be mirror images of her.
And I'm so thankful for them. If I could be just one little bit as amazing as my Gram was, I will have turned out better than good.
So for this WILW (linking up with This Kind of Love), I'm gonna take a moment to take stock of those things I know I got from my Gram that I love and am so grateful for.
In honor of my Grandmother's Birthday, I love...
I love...how much she loved people getting together and enjoying each other's company. She was the one putting together family get-togethers, family cookbooks, family tree charts - she really was the person who wanted to help keep the family connected. I have that same spirit of wanting everyone to get together or at least keep in touch, trying to plan get-togethers, or making groups on Facebook to keep people connected.
I love...that she made me make my bed every day. I lived with her down the shore in the summers and oh-good-GOSH if you didn't make your bed! I make my bed EVERY morning come hell or high water and I think I may have unfortunately influenced others to do the same as I got older. I may be late for work, but my bed will be made. The cab may be honking outside to take me to the airport and I am in danger of missing my flight, BUT my bed will be made before I leave.
I love...that my Gram knew that looking good meant feeling good. She was NOT vain. But she knew it made you feel good if you looked good. And you were probably at your best when you were feeling your best. Into her latest years, my Gram still had her hair done every week. And I always remember having painted nails. Sometimes I think that's why I like doing my nails so much. Just makes me think of her.
I love...my memories of my Gram cooking. Bazed ziti, meatballs, chicken parm, eggplant parm...SO much GOOD food. I like spending lots of time in the kitchen because it truly reminds me of her. MVP asked me once why I keep a kitchen towel over my shoulder as I cook. I just shrugged, "That's what my Gram did."
I love...that my Gram was a cleaning and organization nut. She had everything down to a science. We were not allowed to have anything but a glass of water on the carpeted parts of the shore house. And we were jerks that would threaten to take the Coke can onto the carpeted living room. The inside doors of cabinets had laminated sheets taped inside listing the cabinet's contents...and on what shelf each thing was located. And how many were on hand. Little note cards were often posted next to doors asking/reminding you to pull them ALL the way shut, and to please turn the light out when you were done. I haven't done anything quite like that...yet. But I can't say MVP hasn't made me think about it a time or two since he moved in. But I often think it was all the time spent with my Gram that makes me cringe when I see a dish left in the sink or feel like I am about to break out in hives if the trash doesn't get taken out. Or why an organized closet is simply one of the most gorgeous sights I could possibly think of.
I love...that she wanted things to be beautiful. She liked picking out a nice outfit for church and laying it out on the bed to make sure it all coordinated. She liked having some roses from her rosebushes snipped and out in a vase in the house. She liked pink lipstick. I have that same urge to try and make things as beautiful as they can possibly be. I mean, who doesn't like looking at pretty things?
I love... that Gram was tough on you. She did not put up with BS or excuses. She believed in you and knew you could do it....but she was also going to hold you to it. Sometimes I think that may be why I get so critical of my work or hard on myself about things. I just know I can do it better and know that Gram would not accept me not trying harder.
I love...that my Gram and my Pop Pop were truly best friends. I love that I got to spend so much time with them as I grew up and saw the genuine love and affection they had for one another. I always hoped that one day I would have something like that -- someone who was my best friend that I wanted to just be around all the time. Sometimes I think she must have gotten to work on that once she got up to Heaven. I feel like she must have had a hand in finding MVP for me and making sure our paths eventually crossed. Because I could not pick a better person if I tried. He truly is my partner and best friend. And I just know in my heart she had something to do with that.