Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gram's Love

I consider myself one of the lucky one's in life having been able to learn from and be loved by my amazing Grandmother throughout my whole life and to this day!
My maternal Grandmother is one of my inspirations in strength, courage, love, understanding and has helped me become a decent Army wife!

Throughout my life, Gram (as many affectionately call her) has been there for me through thick and thin for as long as I can remember! I could write volumes on all the things she's taught me, but one thing that really sticks out is honesty!
There are many manifestations of this teaching but the one I love the most is what I call "brutal honesty"...
When I'd try on new clothes or show her a hairstyle I wanted she would either love it or hate it and let me tell you, she would ALWAYS tell me the truth! When I was young, I admit it sometimes hurt my feelings. But as I got older and now that I am an adult, she is always one of the first opinions I seek! I know that no matter what, she will be honest with me and won't say what she thinks I want to hear!

She has always been an honest giver as well. What I mean by this, is that she would give her last penny or stitch of clothing to someone who needed it more than she does. Throughout my life if I needed something I knew I could always go to her!
One of my favorite, treasured gifts she's given me is her knowledge and love! She has so many stories and experiences from her 90+ years, there really isn't much that she hasn't experienced. She lives her life with Love and honesty. She taught me how to give of myself and also how to save money from a very young age.
When I was in the single digits my grandparents would take my cousin and I shopping each Friday night. We got our allowance to spend if we chose, she would always tell me that if I didn't spend it this time, I may see something nicer next time. But as a reminder, she told me that even if I brought a nickel home, it was a nickel saved for another day. I'm 33 years old now, and I still remember this lesson and try to use this advice during times of "retail therapy"!

When Paul was deployed in 2009, one of my favorite ways to spend time was visiting with Gram! She too was an Army wife, but during WWII. Hearing her stories of my mother being 14 months old before she met my grandfather in person or the weeks and months without letters. It made me thankful for Skype and email. I realized how easy it is now to communicate across the world! I think only fellow "milspouses" can comprehend what it's like to have a spouse deployed for a year at a time. While you have your support system, you can still feel VERY alone in a room filled with people! She understood this so well and we had our comfortable silences when she knew how I was feeling.

I know that after so many years (92 in this case), we slow down and our body's wear thin. But I can't help but thank God that my Grandmother is still with me! She is one of my biggest fans, honest critics and always in my corner cheering me on! I'm thankful that her mind is clear and she is frustrating at times because she knows what she does and doesn't want, even if we, her family, feel differently! She is feisty and funny and I cherish EVERY moment I get to spend with her!

I love you GRAM!