25 Things I Wish I Could Say To My Grandmother
In most black families, our grandmothers are the glue that holds us together. She’s often a praying woman, a woman full of love, and undoubtedly, one of the best cooks you’ll ever meet, at least mine was. She was affectionately known by her grandchildren as grandmommy, but whether you called yours grandma, granny, or Big Mama, for most of us, she was a symbol of strength and the matriarch of our family.
So, today, October 25, 2017, I celebrate her 81st birthday by sharing twenty-five things I wish I could say to her.
- Thank you
Thank you for all you did, not only for me but for those around you. As you used to say in prayer, “If I had ten thousand tongues, I couldn’t thank You enough.” And though you were speaking to God, I feel the same way about you. It would have taken several lifetimes to thank you for all you were, all you gave, and all you taught me while you were here.
- I appreciate you
I appreciate you for who you were. I appreciate you for the things you instilled in me, and for everything you sacrificed. I appreciate the lessons, the laughs, and the memories that I will always carry with me.
- You were one of a kind
There is absolutely no one in the world like you. No one with your sense of humor, your wittiness, or your lovable personality. God certainly broke the mold when He made you, and I’m forever grateful that He chose you to be my grandmommy.
- I’m reminded of you often
Whether it’s in the things I say, a scent, or even in my mommy’s laugh, there are always reminders of you and of your love. Though not physically here, I’m appreciative of the gentle reminders that you’re always watching over me.
- I miss you
So very much. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you or wish you were here. I miss your laugh, and the way you said things in true Ruth fashion. I miss your cooking. I miss being able to lay in bed with you doing nothing at all but talking. I miss doing your hair like only I could. I miss it all.
- You taught me so much, but not how to live without you
The lessons I’ve learned simply from being around you have been helpful, to say the least. But, in all those lessons, I don’t remember you teaching me how to go on without you here. Without your guidance, your love, your presence. It’s been hard, but I think I’m doing okay.
- Who I am today has a lot to do with who you were
If ever I needed a role model, you would be it. You were everything I aim to be, and a lot of who I am is due to who you were. My mommy had a great person to look up to, and because of you two, I am who I am. I’m forever grateful for that.
- I will make you proud
I have to. It’s a necessity. In everything I do, I want to make you proud. Every accomplishment, every goal, every milestone, I think of you.
- I get it now
As children, there are a lot of things we don’t necessarily understand. We can’t comprehend why the adults in our lives are so strict or so hard on us, but I get it now. I understand why you said the things you said and did the things you did. You’ve always had my best interest at heart, and for that, I thank you.
- The family is well
We are. Still keeping our family traditions (at least most of them), and still close. You’d be proud of all we’ve accomplished individually and as a family. You taught us well.
- There are so many new restaurants and stores whose name I’m sure you’d mess up
Because no one could quite butcher a name like you. We still laugh at the names you used to come up with.
- Your prayers helped me
There’s nothing like a praying grandmother. I’m almost positive you all were given the direct line to God, but I’m thankful for every time you uttered my name in prayer. It is because of those prayers that I am here today.
- I love Christmas as much as you did
Perhaps it’s because it makes me feel close to you. I still remember you coming to our house every Christmas morning so you could watch me open my gifts. I remember how beautifully you decorated the tree, each ornament having its own special place. It wasn’t so much about the gifts, but being able to have the family together, enjoying one another.
- I was listening
Even if it seemed like I wasn’t, I was. It’s always been said that when the elders of the family speak, you listen. And not merely because of respect, but because there was always something profound being said, and for you, that was very true. Your insight and wisdom were gold.
- Nobody made coffee like you
Not a soul on this earth. All your grandchildren remember drinking “coffee” when we stayed with you. To this day, I still drink my coffee the same: a little coffee, and a lot of cream and sugar.
- Your sense of style was… yours
Between the dresses and the hats that went with them, your style was definitely in a league of its own. Oh, and let’s not forget your Sunday’s best. Nobody did it quite like you.
- You were not a burden
I still remember wheeling you into church once you could start attending again. You asked if I was okay pushing you, and I couldn’t understand why it would be a problem. You were never a burden, and it was an honor to take care of you like you had done for me, and everyone else in the family. Being able to make you as comfortable as possible during your last days here was something I will never forget.
- You were my best friend
You were and still are. I was always attached to your hip, and don’t you even think of going anywhere without me. I knew it was real when I discovered we had the same mole in the same place. We were destined to have an unbreakable bond.
- You were so independent
If you couldn’t get anyone to do it for you, you did it yourself. I’m certain that’s where my mommy gets it from, but I’ve always admired that about you both. You’ve shown me that I didn’t have to depend on anyone else; I could always get the job done myself.
- You were always there
Always. Whether it was a performance, school event, or simply being present in my life, you were always there, and for that, I thank you.
- Your faith was admirable
I still remember the day you preached about having faith the size of a mustard seed, and we had to bag individual mustard seeds to demonstrate. You not only preached it, but you lived it, and it was a blessing to see.
- You were so strong
You were. I can’t imagine what it was like battling breast cancer, but you did, and you did so effortlessly. I can’t recall you ever complaining or questioning why things happened the way they did, you simply rolled with the punches, never letting it defeat you.
- You were always happy
I don’t remember you any other way. I can’t recall you being angry, upset, or anything else other than happy. You were always smiling, always laughing, always full of joy.
- I wish I had more time
It’s selfish to say, but I do. I wish you were still here. I wish I could get a hug that only you could give. I wish our time hadn’t been cut short. But, I’m thankful for the years I got to share with you, and I will forever cherish them.
- Just remember I love you
You never ended a phone call with a simple goodbye, you always said, “Just remember I love you.” So, today, I say, just remember I love you, grandmommy. With every part of me, I do.
For those of you who are blessed to still have your grandparents around, cherish them, love them, and make time for them, for once they’re gone, it’ll be too late. One thing I’ve always felt good about was the fact that my grandmommy knew I loved her, she knew I appreciated her, and the time we had together was well spent.