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Thursday, August 24, 2017

It'll never really be gone



I was thinking about my grandma yesterday more than usual.  I thought about what my answer would be if someone asked me what one thing I missed about her most.  Instantly I knew...her support.

Obviously, the Mr is supportive and is proud of me and will tell me so but long before he came along, there was Grandma.  She may have never been an overly doting grandma but I always knew she loved me but more importantly, she supported me.  When I was eight years old and my parents were divorcing, I decided I wanted to make my mom a dinner to make her feel better.  Grandma was coming over so I would make something for all of us.  I wanted it to be nice and I think I might've even been a nerd and drew an invitation for Grandma to give to her before she came over.  I made pork chops, I think potatoes and some kind of veggie or salad.  This isn't unheard of these days with kids growing up on Food Network but this was the early 80's and that's a pretty lofty dinner for a kid who had never made something so extravagant off nothing more than an idea.  Mom was still upset and was on the divorce diet of not eating.  So when it was dinner time, I think she took a bite or two and was telling me how good it was but got emotional and excused herself.  I'm sure Grandma wanted to follow her but she stayed with me and continued eating dinner.  Since I was a kid obviously I didn't know not to take offense that mom didn't want dinner and I think Grandma knew it would be more important to stay with me because imagine if both women got up and left and it's me and the crickets.  HA!  I wasn't mad at mom or anything but I worked hard on dinner and was seeking approval.  (Some things never change, do they Mr?)  She told me several times how good dinner was and she was impressed I wanted to make something so fancy.  It encouraged me that I should continue with my culinary ideas and is part of the reason I'm veering the direction I am.

Throughout my life, whenever I would talk to her about my thoughts, ideas and when some of those ideas turned into businesses, she was the first one telling me I could do it.  She was the one telling me I had a good head on my shoulders and she was never worried that I wouldn't make the right decision. When I got published for the first time with a photo, she asked where the magazine was carried and the day it came out, she ran to the store and called me when she got it.  It always made me so happy to know that she respected my decisions even if they weren't ones that she would make herself.  She knew my limitations and reasons why I'd need to not have people in my life that were close to her.  It was understood that I would never try to change her opinion toward these people because I didn't need that and it wouldn't be fair to ask but she also knew that I couldn't emotionally handle the drama those people had the potential to bring.  It was amazing to have the kind of unconditional love that I had from her because there are truly so few people who "get you", accept you and your flaws and love you anyway.

While I can't get that validation I so desperately would love to have, when I do something that I know she would be proud of, I still feel it.  It's not the same of course but it's nice to still feel that she would approve and be excited.  It's a big way that she's still with me.  Her love and support transcend all that she's going through and when she's gone, I can imagine it will still be the same which means she'll never really be gone.

Who was/is the one person (other than your spouse) that supported and loved you unconditionally?


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10 comments:

  1. I love your grandma memories! Hubby and I were chatting recently and he asked what I wanted to be called when we became grandparents. Granny. He thought that was old-fashioned and not very like me. But my Granny was everything I hope to be as a grandmother - loving, kind, accepting. I cherish her memories and I hope to be a Granny too.

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    1. Aww, thanks! I actually love Granny! I know this isn't the same but when we had a dog and would drop her off my mom's she knew her as Granny and I just loved the way it sounded especially since she didn't look or act like a "typical" granny. I think when it's the opposite of what you envision, it comes off as tongue in cheek. :-)

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  2. Having been privileged enough to have seen this support first-hand myself I have no doubt that her spirit is still instilled in you and helps drive you today and always will. I cherish the fact that I was able to get this same kind of support from her as well and it's why I think of her as my grandma too. My own grandparents, on both sides of my family, weren't as supportive of me and my brothers and we were not as close so I'm very lucky that your grandma had enough love to go around.

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    1. Yes she did but I thought of Dad for you. He was always excited about our ventures and it was truly missed when he was no longer here to tell us how cool one of our ideas was.

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  3. My husband's mother was a tough cookie. Really difficult. Not just me, everyone. She has been dead since 2010. So a long time now. But on a regular basis, I realize that although she did not like me, she would great pleasure out of everything our kids do. I say that to my husband in a regular basis - if your mother were still alive, she would really enjoy hearing about X kid story.

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    1. It's nice despite being a little rough around the edges that her love for her grandkids was still evident. I'm sure she still enjoys watching over them.

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  4. Both my grandmas supported me 100% in everything I did, although I lost them both when I was just 17, back in 1968. I still have great memories of time I spent with them and hopefully am making some memories with my own grandchildren that they will have long after I am gone. I also seek approval constantly for what I do, especially cooking. I get frustrated when we go out to eat and afterwards all Hubs talks about is how good the meal was. He rarely tells me that at home. But when he does, I tell him how much it means to me, hoping that he'll get the point to compliment me more often on the food I cook. So far, it's still very rare....and I'm still seeking that approval.

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    1. That's so nice that you have such great memories with your grandma's and I know you're a great one to your grandkids. I feel the same about restaurant food compared to homemade. We love my mashed potatoes and only my cousins would say how good they were, the adults seemed to eat them begrudgingly because "she probably made them healthy" (God forbid!) One year, I tried a shortcut that failed and made a goopy mess so we had to run to the store, grab the last 5 containers of some restaurant's real mashed potatoes in a microwave container. (To my horror) The adults RAVED about how they were the best potatoes I've ever made. I didn't tell them but the Mr and I looked at each other and I said "I give up." Apparently a crapload of butter, salt and preservatives is what some people like more. :-\ I'm sure your food is delicious!!

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  5. I can't say that anyone comes to mind, honestly. I lived out of a duffel bag from a young age through most of high school, so there wasn't much stability. But I love, love, LOVE hearing stories such as yours and other people's posts. Having those kind of memories from the past and present will carry a person well into the future just knowing that they are being watched over and loved and cheered for. And there's something about knowing that that encourages you to put your best foot forward and to do the best for yourself. Love that!

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  6. For me it was my mother, who died twenty years ago, and my father, who died long before that when I was a teenager. They always told me I could do anything and encouraged me in everything I did. I tried to do the same for my children and only hope I was half as successful. I feel sad for people who didn't have that kind of unconditional love from their parents, and it seems it is the exception rather than the rule to have it. I am glad that I got to return a little bit of the favor for my dear mother and cared for her in my home for the last few years of her life when she had Alzheimer's. My parents are my inspiration every day. They were a fine example of a life well lived.

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