I lost my grandmother this month. She succumbed to cancer on July 19. She was 89 years old, just a few months shy of her 90th birthday. Though logically I realize that the longer she held on the more pain she would be in, I am saddened by her death.
I am a very analytical person. Therefore, I have been thinking about things. My cousin made a speech about my grandmother at the funeral. Listening to him reminded me of some things that I take for granted now without even thinking about.
My cousin talked about how nobody ever went into her house through the front door. Everybody knew to come in through the side door that led to the kitchen. When we heard a knock on the front door we knew that someone was visiting from somewhere else. There were no strangers at my grandmother’s house, only visitors.
My grandmother welcomed everybody. One of the first thing she always did was to ask if you were hungry. Didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, she would try to feed you. And my cousin also reminded me that my grandmother welcomed anyone when they needed a place to stay.
He reminded me that she could be pretty tough at times. If you did something wrong, she was quick to scold you or spank you depending on the severity of the wrong. She was always a tough woman.
My grandmother survived many tragedies during her lifetime. None of these tragedies ever seemed to slow her down or change her ways. She was always the same loving and welcoming person no matter what was going on in her life.
I guess the biggest lesson I can take from my grandmother’s life is that it is possible to be tough and loving at the same time. There is no contradiction between these terms. My grandmother was always tough with us. She never babied us. But never in my life did I ever doubt her love.