This week we’ve been celebrating my Grandma’s birthday. This picture is actually from last year, but she’s now officially 92 years young. She’s a St. Patrick’s day baby, so on Tuesday I made homemade macaroni and cheese and salad at my parents’ house and my sister made a delicious cake and we celebrated. I’d take hanging out with my Grandma over drinking green beer any day! Today we had another celebration with even more members of my Dad’s large extended family. When you’ve lived more than nine decades, every birthday deserves some extra fanfare.
My Grandma didn’t go to high school, but she’s taught me so much about life. When my Grandpa had a stroke, losing the ability to speak and walk, my Grandma showed incredible dedication to him, visiting him many times a week for the eight years that he lived in a nursing home. She doesn’t drive, so she had to take the bus there or rely on rides from her family members, but I never heard her complain. She showers her family with love, and her children have passed down that love to their children, and, in some cases, even their children’s children. Through good times and bad, she remains that calming, positive, and supportive voice, always wanting to know what’s going on in our lives. Even if she may not have chosen our path for herself, she’s always excited to hear about what we’re up to, as long as we promise her to be careful, of course.
It really moved me to see my Grandma stand among some of her family and tell us all how proud she is of us. Without her, none of us would have been standing in that kitchen in a circle holding hands. She brought us all together, and I wouldn’t exist were it not for one of the children she brought into the world. She may not have travelled the world or pursued any kind of higher education, but on her 92nd birthday, I don’t know that anything meant more to her than being surrounded by her family. I’m grateful to her for showing me the power of unconditional love, and helping me to remember that sometimes it’s the little things in life that are most important. I’d like to think that I inherited just a little bit of her soft spoken kindness, and I hope that small part of her lives on in me forever.