There has never been a shortage of love in my family and for that, I will forever be grateful. Family has always been a priority in my household and it truly does come above all else. I feel extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful human beings in my life. I’ve learned many lessons from all of the individuals in my life but the lessons on ‘love’ come from my late grandmother whom I called Grammie (yes, spelled with an ‘ie’).
My Grammie was one of the strongest women I’ve ever had the opportunity to know. Her fierce determination, strength, and tenacity enabled her to navigate many challenges. However, the way she loved is something for the record books. Whether she knew it or not, she taught me so much about what love is supposed to look like and what it truly means.
Lesson #1 – Family
Family was my Grammie’s number one priority. She worked extremely hard to provide and put food on the table for her children. She raised six truly amazing children who have all succeeded and continue to succeed in their own lives. I will always admire how she put her children first.
Moral – Family first. Always. And when you decide to have children, they come first.
Lesson #2 – Her Sweetheart
My grandmother was madly in love with her husband. When he passed away at a young age, she still continued to care and provide for her family, alone. Despite his passing, she never, ever stopped calling him ‘my sweetheart’. I never met him but I imagine that their love story was epic; the kind of love you see in the movies. They went through a lot together including his service in Europe during WWII. Their commitment to each other was inspiring. I truly believe that they had the kind of love that we all hope to find one day. Their love story is heart-warming and wrenching. It’s the love story that I hope to tell my children about one day.
Moral – The right person will be worth all of the challenges that life will throw at you. Find them. Hold onto them. Always love them.
Lesson #3 – How to Say ‘I Love You’
There are many, many ways to say ‘I Love You’ that don’t involve physically saying those three words. A home cooked meal, an extra bag of chips at Halloween (or maybe two), a kiss on the cheek, a smile, a cookie for the road, the words ‘I’m proud of you’, a squeeze of the hand and a gentle hug were just some of the ways my Grammie showed her love. Her actions were a direct reflection of the love she shared for all of us. But, when she did say ‘I love you’ it was special. I will never forget the way she would say ‘I love you’ to me at the end of a visit or phone call because those special moments are forever etched on my heart.
Moral – Acknowledge that “put your seatbelt on”, “eat your veggies” or “here’s some cab money” are all ways of saying ‘I love you’. But do say ‘I love you’ in abundance to important and special people in your life.
I will always remember how much she loved.
Grammie, I love you.