I haven’t posted on this blog in a long time, but I’ve decided to share an essay I wrote a few years ago in honor of what would have been my Grandma Kay’s 90th birthday.

My grandmother used to tell my little brother Michael and I that family is the most important thing in life. My father would take Michael and I to her house on Sundays after church and we would visit for hours, watching The Price is Right or Jeopardy, and sometimes Disney Channel if we behaved. Michael and I would sit around my grandmother’s rocking chair and make necklaces out of beads and sewing needles she kept by her side. My parents would tell me that I got my craftiness from her, because my grandmother and I could create something out of anything.

Whenever Michael and I would argue, just like all loving siblings sometimes do, my grandmother would tell us this: on one shoulder, you have a good angel watching over you and on the other shoulder, you have a bad angel. If you were to feel like getting angry or being mean, you were to stop and listen to the good angel, and avoid the bad angel. This stopped a majority of our fights, and we would begin to play nicely again.


If Michael and I were especially good, the three of us would go out to the backyard and blow bubbles in the garden. I think that was one of the things my grandmother looked forward to the most whenever we visited. She would take us out to the hothouse where my grandfather used to love to tend to his plants and tell us stories about our father’s childhood and about my grandfather. Michael and I never met our grandfather, but I think she meant for the stories to be a way to keep his memory alive.

My grandmother had a fascination with hummingbirds. She has dozens of hummingbird trinkets lined up on the shelves and walls of her home, and she hung a feeder for the hummingbirds outside her window, where she could see it from her rocking chair. You could tell she really loved them, just like you could tell she really loved my grandfather.

I now realize that my grandmother taught me so much: she was caring, compassionate, and creative. I believe she was a great role model, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten those characteristics from her. I try to have a similar mentality to hers when I’m peer tutoring the special education students at my high school. I’ve realized that I want to use those things I’ve learned from her in my future, when I begin a career in the special education field and start my own family. My grandmother taught me that love and kindness are the greatest traits a person can have.

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