This last week has been a roller coaster of emotions. The one thing I have known without a doubt was that I needed to share something special about grandma with everyone so that she is not forgotten. I pushed myself to come up with something to say but couldn’t seem to come up with the right words to express the special bond that I had with this magnificent woman. It was not for lack of memories that I struggled; I have millions of those. I am lucky enough to have 28 years of memories. How do I sum up 28 years in a way that would make everyone understand the effect that she has had on me?
Not surprisingly it was in the bathroom this morning that an idea hit me. It does not surprise me because grandma potty trained me by sitting me on the toilet with a book and then she couldn’t get me out of there. This is where I do my best thinking. It is well known that anytime the family is looking for me I can likely be found in the bathroom, having gotten so absorbed in my book that I forget that I’m finished. My point being that as I was showering this morning I realized that what I need to share is not my memory of grandma but what she has taught me, and how in death she hasn’t stopped.
As we were going through pictures from grandma’s collection last night a picture of her that was taken in 1953 shocked me. The face staring back at me was my own. Grandma had told me the week before she passed that she wasn’t leaving me…she would still be all around me in the wind. I realize that this may be truer than I could comprehend. I see her when I look in the mirror. The truth is that she lives inside me and in the hearts and souls of every person that has ever known her and because of that she can never be forgotten.
I could stand up here and retell any one of the thousands of special moments that we shared but what would that actually mean to you? What does mean something to everyone in this room is your friend, your mother, and your grandmother is not gone. I believe with all my heart that by teaching me to love myself my grandmother has given the part of her in me a chance to make up for any regrets she may have had and to make the world a better place far into the future. I just hope that she knows that her first ladybug loves her mostly.