Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life's Lessons

I've had a bad case of the blahs recently.

There's stress at my day job, frustration with the economy, issues with money. I'm kind of a tired mess.

But this won't be a "poor me" blog. It's a kick in the butt to myself. (Is that even possible?)

When I get to feeling sorry for myself, I remember the best and brightest person in my life - my Grandmother Gertrude.

Gram was the strongest, most giving person I have ever known. She was widowed at a young age and raised five children on her own cleaning houses. The "down on your hands and knees" kind of cleaning. She taught me that you always had to work hard for what you wanted, and that made you appreciate it even more.

She had a temper and was very particular about certain things, which my Mother says I inherited. But Gram loved her family, and would do anything at all without hesitation to help us. I literally saw her give up all that she had on more than one occasion, because she thought someone else needed it more than she did. And she never expected anything in return. That kind of unconditional love spoke volumes about her.

She helped raise me as a child, then spoiled me when Mom moved us away. We would have slumber parties with soap operas and stay up all night reading romance novels in bed. We would talk for hours and laugh until tears flowed down our cheeks. You never needed much to have a good time with Gram. She found joy in the simplest things.

When I grew up, she was still always there with loads of support. Whenever I needed her, she would make sure to be there, arms wide open, without question. She made me feel safe, loved, and like I could do anything. There was never an ounce of disappointment in her eyes.

Gram died from cancer April 15, 2005. She fought her battle bravely, just like she did everything. And though she's no longer with me in this world, I feel her presence when I most need it. (which happens to be often)

I still miss her fiercely, but through her eyes I could always see the person I wanted to be. What she taught me remains in my heart forever and spurs me onward.

She would have been so excited and proud to see my first novel published.

And then she would have said "now buckle down and do it again!"

...I'm off to write...

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