Originally posted to Odyssey , October 10, 2016
Whenever people tell me I look like one of my parents, I usually laugh. And then I say, “No, I look like my grandmother.” Which might seem a bit odd, but Nan always says to take it as a compliment. And, of course, I always do.
I have been very fortunate to live in the same city as my grandmother, seeing as my other grandparents live over 500 miles away. Nan’s house was always my favorite place to go. She was never short on sweets, fun or love. If my parents told her I was grounded, she’d say, “Well that’s only at y’all’s house; not here.” Her house was filled with echoes of wooden sword fights, Super Smash Bros. victories, and every kind of smart-alec quip you could think of around the holidays. I didn’t always appreciate that when I was younger. Now, as college looms closer and I’ve officially become an “adult,” I can’t help but long for those carefree days spent hunting for Easter eggs in the backyard or helping her refill the birdfeeders. I’m also incredibly grateful for the things I learned in that house.
From a young age, Nan always told me education was the best life insurance a woman could have. She told me I could be anything I wanted to be and always supported my grand visions of the future, no matter how childish they were. She showed me the power of a home-cooked meal, how to tell which cardinal was the momma and which one was the daddy, and exemplified that family is the most important thing. No matter what she had going on, Nan always made time for us. Whether it was picking us up from school because our parents were busy or giving us money for the claw machine at the gas station because she knew how much we loved it, Nan has always made family come first.
I live for Sunday’s spent eating fried corn and rattlesnake beans at her house, just enjoying each other’s company. I love the fact that she wraps three presents by hand for each of her 10 grandchildren each Christmas (not to mention the rest of the adults). And I love that she shows me the value of hard work every time I see her, be it still putting out mulch in her garden at 87 years old or spending countless hours on a cross-stitch blanket.
It’s hard to sum up the immense amount of love and respect I have for my grandmother in only 462 words. All I can say is, my Nan is the toughest, kindest, funniest woman I know. If I can grow up to be half the woman/mother/grandmother she is–even if it’s just in looks–I know I’ll have led a pretty awesome life.