Today would be my grandmother’s 91st birthday. Anticipating this date, I have been reflecting back on my time with her. I’ve realized that not everyone has had the type of role models and influences in their life that I have. I am more aware of the kind of family I have. My grandmother is probably the finest person I have ever known. She had an infinite number of people in her life that she cared greatly for, but had a way of making every one of them feel so special. I always felt like I was her favorite grandchild, but I suspect that every one of my 30+ cousins felt the exact same way. She had 13 children and each of them felt as if they were her favorite too. In fact it is a running joke throughout the family of who actually was number one, a constant poke at each other, always trying to prove the impossible.
She had an unshakable faith in God. She never raised her voice, at least not in my presence, and always seemed to have an endless supply of love and support for others. She was unimaginably intelligent, but not in a know-it-all kind of way. She was the first person you called when you had a question about anything; whether it was cooking, algebra, parenting, grammar, gardening, music, your health or practically anything else. She was like Wikipedia, YouTube and WebMD all rolled up into human form. She attended countless Christmas concerts, art shows, birthday parties, weddings, graduations, bridal showers, baby births, baptisms…all without ever having a driver’s license. She made the coolest birthday cakes shaped like teddy bears and Sesame Street characters; and these ginormous cookie cakes with a border of frosting flowers and M&M’s. She was the first person to ever send me flowers, my freshman year at college – she sent me a fresh flower arrangement to let me know that even though I was far away, I was in her thoughts.
She nurtured my love of the arts at a very young age. I remember being about 4 or 5 years old and coloring a picture at the dining room table as she watched in genuine amazement that I could differentiate between the 12 different shades of red in the crayon box. She was an incredible pianist and always had time to answer my questions when I didn’t know what “ritardando” or “pianissimo” meant, or to help me with my arpeggios. And even though she’s not here to tell me, I feel in my heart of hearts that she is smiling down showing her support of my photography.
I miss my grandma every day, as does everyone else who knew her. She is the matriarch of a ridiculously amazing family that I am so blessed to be part of. Happy Birthday Grandma. Love you always.