A year ago on Sept. 21 one of my dear friends passed away. Yes, I did grow up with her and I shared all my dreams, fears and inter feelings with her. Not only was she a dear friend, but she was also my grandmother.
I was fortunate to have a grandma who cherished me and supported me in everything I chose to do. Not all grandchildren are as lucky as I was to be near their grandma's throughout their childhood, but there was not a day that went by that I did not talk to her and this lasted until the day she died.
Although I miss my grandma dearly, I do not have any regrets. I was blessed with sharing many wonderful years with her and she shared many of my milestones throughout my life.
Grandma was there for every volleyball game I played in including games which were out of town. Between her, my mom and my aunt, they were the biggest cheerleaders in the stand. This was embarrassing in some cases especially when the referees stopped the game to give my grandma a dirty look.
She was the first one there early in the morning following the birth of my daughter. The only thing she could say is "she is so beautiful, but why didn't you call in the middle of the night when you got to the hospital?"
The day I walked down the aisle, my grandma was there. During the night, she had fallen out of bed and broke her back in several places. This did not stop her. She walked slowly but was the first person to congratulate me and my new husband after the ceremony.
No matter what the event, grandma was there. It was such an exciting day for me when I began working here at the Sun Advocate. I had always dreamed of being a journalist and when I was hired, the first person I wanted to call was grandma, but she had already passed away.
Now that a year has come and gone without the daily phone call and weekly lunch outings, I have come to realize just how lucky I was to have a friend like grandma. She was a special person for countless reasons, but one of her best qualities was that she always gave of herself to everyone she encountered. This is a quality that I think each of us needs to adopt.
Grocery shopping was not a chore for grandma, it was an adventure. At least once a month grandma would travel to Provo to shop at the large warehouse stores for groceries. She would return with a car load full of food, with probably only two or three bags of supplies that she would use herself. The remainder of the food would be given to neighbors, friends, and family.
Grandma was the watchdog for every family she came in contact with. The unspoken rule was to never mention that something would be nice to have because grandma would race down that day to pick it up. This was not an easy task for her either. She was very frail and had a difficult time moving around. She also was not a person rich in money, but she was truly rich in compassion.
As she grew older and sicker, grandma would rely on help to get her chores done including the grocery shopping. At least once a week she would send me to the store to pick up cat and dog food for her favorite fury friends. On the list of supplies would be four gallons of milk, 24 cans of dog food, 36 cans of cat food and three boxes of orange sticks. This was quite a list for a person who owned only three dogs and about five cats, but it was important to grandma.
That was especially true of her orange sticks. Never forget the orange sticks!
Her animals were as big a part of her life as her family. In fact, her pets were her family. I have never seen animals that have a time schedule such as hers. Each afternoon at approximately 1:30 the animals had to be fed. If I was there when the time came and grandpa had not fed them by 1:31, grandma would hastily grab the can opener and slam the pet food can down on the table and begin the task herself until grandpa would stumble into the room and finish the chore. She would always say "they are waiting to be fed."
And her birds. They also had to be fed first thing in the morning. They were waiting too. She also had feathered friends in Springville that she would save bags of bread crumbs for and each month when she traveled north to shop for groceries, she would stop by a factory in town which had a small pond surrounding it. The pond was filled with large funny looking fish and ducks and geese of all sizes and colors. How they would race to the side of the car when grandma pulled up with her bags full of goodies.
Christmas, birthdays or any other holiday that you can imagine was a big deal to grandma. She would begin shopping Dec. 26 for the coming years Christmas, and this would last until Dec. 24 of the next year. She would buy or make a gift for everyone she knew including the waitresses at her favorite restaurants. Grandma just loved to give.
This is an avid image which I will always have of grandma. When I think about it, we should all be a little like grandma. No we don't need to go overboard and buy gifts for everyone we meet in the street, but we should make sure that we at least treat these strangers with the kindness that grandma did.
She realized that everyone is special. Just because you don't know someone personally, it doesn't mean that you can't make a new friend by simply smiling and asking "how are you today?" Maybe the world would spin around just a little smoother if we could all offer something of ourselves to everyone we meet in a day.
No matter how sick or how weak grandma felt, she always could muster up a smile and a giggle and say "have a nice day." This would light up not only her heart, but those who she would speak to.
And the way that grandma treated her animals. What I wouldn't do to be a pet at her house. If we all respected animals like grandma did, there would be no homeless pets and no wounded critters.
Why can't we all just be a little more like grandma?