Everyone needs someone who inspires them, someone who sets the bar high and motivates them to want to elevate. One of my favorite quotes of all time "Life is nothing unless you made a significant impact on others." I have always kept this quote in mind and tried my best to live by it. You only have one life. It's essential to make it meaningful and leave an exhilarating mark on others. I learned so much from my grandmother. She taught me about fashion, survival skills, how to cook and clean, the list goes on. Who knows where I would be without this special lady. My grandmother is the matriarchal of my family. She was born on April 8, 1938. My grandmother witnessed a lot of injustice, pain, and violence in her 83 Years on earth, but she did not let pain bring her down. She has always been my superhero, my shero. My grandma did not attend Junior High School. In Sunday school and bible study, she learned how to read. On a budget, she made delicious meals to feed a family of ten. I admire her strength and dedication. Suffuse with love and compassion to go the extra mile for her family. She always instilled in me to work hard and never give up despite the odds. When I find myself complaining, I think of the obstacles she faced. I am sure she had excuses and limitations, but she was a trooper. I was taught you have two types of people in the world. You have people who crumble, while you have some people who are willing to go toe to toe and use the resources they have to get the outcome they want. Raising nine kids by herself while working for a pickle factory was not easy, but she did it. She did not make much or have much, but she made the best with what she had. She taught me to stay humble and focused. Life lesson, my circumstances do not dictate my future because I can create an ending to my story. One of the things my grandmother took seriously was education. She did not stress what career to chose. Her words "an education will open a'lot of doors and gives you many options." She didn't have options and she didn't want to see her kids or grandkids struggle. I believed her words and made sure education was a top priority.
I have many memories of my grandmother one, in particular, was her taking me to church. Every Sunday night was a ritual. Hair done the day before, clothes iron with a purse to match. On holidays I wore a hat to match. I was in church from 9:30 to 3 pm every Sunday faithful. If another church visited, I had to come back for the evening service.
When I was about nine years old, I did not want to go to church anymore. I complained and looked for every excuse not to go , but I still had to go. I must have caught an attitude and blurted out, none of my friends attended church. Why do I have to go? She told me the church is the last place you go before they place your body down in the ground. I didn't understand her point or logic. But as I got older, I realized church was not a punishment. When I look back at the darkest times in my life, it was my religion and congregation that got me through the darkest moments in my life. Thank you, grandma, for introducing me to church. That was the best thing you could have done for me. Firsthand, I witnessed the impact faith and religion have on a person.
Happy Birthday to my special lady. It is an honor to have you as my first teacher, role model, and most important my dear friend. Thank you for setting the bar high and holding me to it.