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Dear Grandma,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. So I thought maybe I would take a few minutes today to tell you.  Sometimes you are in my thoughts because I just flat out miss you. I miss your laugh, that delightfully contagious belly laugh of yours that could be heard all through the house and lightened even the darkest days. I ache for your pithy piss and vinegar wit ( your words not mine) and your straight to the heart practical wisdom.  I long for the sticky hot summer evenings of sitting on the back stoop leaning against your legs as you smoke your last cigarette of the day telling me about your work and asking me about my school.  I thought then as I do now that you were the best grandma that any kid could hope for. 

There are times like today where I’d like to call you up or drop by for a visit. I would like to make you coffee and sit at the kitchen table and compare notes like we always did, to share my troubles, and to ask your guidance. I’d like to tell you about your grandchildren. You would enjoy them so much. All three of them have your sass. Rabia has the most though, she even looks like you.  They are smart and funny and well I like them quite a bit and just wish you had lived to be a part of their lives. I used to feel great sorrow that you never got to meet them, but even greater was the grief that they missed out on you. Until recently when I looked in the mirror one morning and saw you looking back at me. The laugh lines around the eyes, the smirk… all of it right there staring back at me. A delightful shock I’ll tell you.

In that moment I finally (only took me 53 years) realized that a whole lot of who I am I have you to thank for. The good and the hmm… let’s say quirky.  I have your laugh. It’s true, ask around. A full bellied, head thrown back roar.  I’m more silly than witty, but I do have my moments.  What I do think I have a smidge of and am the most grateful for, is your strength.  You were by far the strongest person I knew and most certainly the strongest woman.  A fierce and determined woman. A woman who kicked out her abusive alcoholic husband and raised three kids alone at a time when that was not only a difficult proposition it was also not the norm. You worked all kinds of hours to support them and yourself.  I remember when I was older hearing stories almost mythical about this brazen woman. I’ll never forget the day I realized they were all talking about you. You were an outcast because of the choices you made, still you stood by them.  Strong and firm.  You helped people no one else would. Opened your heart and your door. Generous and kind to a fault and with not much to spare.

Today grandma, is International Women’s Day’s centennial celebration. Yes, we are still working towards equality for women, still trying to end violence towards women (I know. I’m sorry.), and still working towards equal pay for the same jobs (to name a few).

Don’t get me wrong; things are better so much better then when this was your fight.  Thank you for that by the way. Still there is a long way to go. 

As I thought about equality, human rights, feminism, power and women today, you waltzed into my consciousness. How could I think of anything of those qualities without thinking of you? You taught me their essence.  So I want to acknowledge and say thank you for modeling what a good, strong, smart, funny, and courageous woman looks like.  A woman who will stand up and fight for her children and herself. A woman who is not afraid to be in the minority and will fight for what is right and good for her fellow humankind. ( I think there was a few cats and dogs in the mix too.) I watched you carefully. Even when you were afraid, you would give yourself a little shake, put your shoulders back, and move forward. Walking right smack dab into whatever current fire there was to put out or dragon to slay.

Grandma, to this woman’s little girl-self that was majesty. I never got a chance to tell you but I’m hoping you knew that you were my heroine. I am honoured to see even a hint of you when I look in the mirror and joyous to see you when I look into the faces of my children.

I do still miss you.

  1. Beautiful words about a strong, smart, funny woman! Bless her memory and pass her stories on to your children to keep her alive in your heart. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and heart-ful memories with us.

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  3. Sandy Meadows #

    Thanks.  I will hold my own grannies in my thoughts today because of you.

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  4. Hazel Smith #

    A heartfelt tribute-thank you,Tina, for sharing your memories of your grandma with all of us. I hope I am that kind of grandma for my own grandchildren.

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  5. Linken #

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories. I am one lucky lady to have my grandparents still with us. They are so much a part of our family that my school age kids have no clue that they are their great grandparents. smile But some days I miss my own great gramma. So quietly strong and sneakily feisty! I miss seeing her in her fine outfits, she always had costume jewelry for every outfit, and it never looked over the top. She was so amazed by computers and cd’s, so tickled that she, the daughter of the town drunk, had traveled by covered wagon, train, plane, and had seen all that had happened in her long life. I won’t grow to look like these amazing women in my life (no genetics in common) but I hope to sponge off some of their personalities (grin) albeit in my much louder version with many more laugh lines to earn. smile

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  6. Candace #

    Thank you for sharing this eloquent & touching tribute to your grandmother.  I have a few tears welling up as I recall with great pride and thankfulness for the strong grandmothers and mother in my life.  I too can still see them (in the mirror) in myself and now in my own daughters and granddaughter. May we pass on the strength, courage and wisdom that we have inherited from them.

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  7. Tamara #

    Awww Tina!  That is beautiful and makes me miss my grandma as well.  She never to see me as a mom and my daughter misses out on the wonderful person that she was! 

    If you are like your grandma, then I know I would have liked her, because you’re pretty awesome in my book!

    Can’t wait to see you again…..soon, hopefully.


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  8. NKD #

    How eloquent, thank you so much for sharing.  I am so lucky to have both my mother and her mother in my life and I’m going to call them both tonight.  Thank you for the reminder!

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  9. Tears…. your story touched me…

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  10. Tina, how wonderful. I so enjoyed reading this. Your grandmother would be proud of you!

    My grandmother was a very different woman, but equally wonderful. Full of kindness and strong of character. And I too sometimes see her when I look in the mirror these days, and am pleased by that.

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  11. Sarah JS #

    Thank you much for the tribute.  Hurrah for all the strong people in our lives.

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  12. I miss my Grandma too!  She taught me to knit, sew, cook, garden and all sorts of crafty things.  She loved me no matter what.  Thanks for sharing about yours, eh?


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  13. Rebbie #

    What a lovely tribute to your grandma. I miss both of mine very much. One of them passed away exactly a year ago and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life for 46 years. I can’t wait to be a grandmother and pass along the love.

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  14. My heart is aching with the same void you must feel.  The reminders are sometimes unexpected, always welcome and usually with a touch of melancholy.  We are fortunate our loved ones have left us such wonderful memories to share with friends.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Martha S #

    You brought tears to my eyes, I feel much the same about my mom. They were an amazing generation, weren’t they?

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  16. You made me cry!  Congratulations!  You’ve grown up just like grandma.  I know this will make you laugh your big laugh, but the first word I’d use to describe you is Kind!  Yeah, there’s snark and piss and vinegar, and a work ethic that doesn’t quit, but you have a huge heart.  Again, congratulations, lady!

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  17. Thank you. Blessings on you and yours. I barely knew my grandmother who loved to knit before she passed, but I had this one day maybe ten years ago where I was trying to figure out a then-terribly difficult to me lace knitting pattern and wondered who on earth I could call for help. I tried and tried and it just wasn’t making sense and I was frustrated.

    I suddenly had the thought, Grandmother Jeppson could have done this…

    As I thought that thought I looked down again at the work in my hands with a sense of nearness I don’t know how to describe, and suddenly it all made sense and I knew how to do it and it worked. What could I do but offer a Thank you, Grandmother, upwards.

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  18. linda #

    That made me cry and I thank you for sharing . My grandmother was my hero too and that gives me great heart to know that women have the influence and gritty determination, laughter and good humor of their grandmothers to fall back on. That was an amazing way to honor your grandmother. Bless you.

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  19. lynne #

    Just reading this now, a few days late, but had to say what a beautiful, moving tribute you’ve made to your amazing Grandmother! I didn’t have women like her in my young life, and wonder what I might have become if I had. Thank you for sharing smile

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  20. Very good post. Made me realize I was totally wrong about this issue. I figure that one learns something new everyday. nfl replica jerseys for cheap Mrs Right learned her lesson! Nice, informative website by the way.

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