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Giving Thanks

“It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.”
-Anonymous
 
This quote makes me think of my Grammy, who I lost just three months ago. I have so many fond memories of my Grammy, sitting in her chair in her humble apartment, peeking out the window anticipating that first glimpse of me walking toward her door, she called me “the light of her life“. She’d have a hot fresh pot of chicken and dumplings, or chicken paprikash ready for me to enjoy, she loved making me happy, she used to tell me she‘d do anything for me, and she meant it. She had this enormous welcoming smile that made anyone feel at home. I will always miss her hugs and the way her little shoulders felt as I wrapped my arms tightly around them.
 
My Grammy was faced with a truly unimaginable amount of loss in her life, yet she was able to make it through somehow, thanks to her enormous amount of faith. She was a true inspiration to so many people, whether it was at work or in passing on the street. She always made sure to give money, food, or clothes to people in need. She worked as a dining room coordinator at a Senior Nutrition Center for 25 plus years, on her feet all day busing tables and serving seniors. Working kept her sane, and Serving people made her happy. Whenever I’d worry about her she’d say “I’m tough babe, don’t you worry about me”. She was tough, she was my mother figure.
 
She developed Pneumonia towards the end of her life, which she had several times before. I was so fortunate to speak with her on the phone just three days before her beautiful soul was set free. She told me how sick she was. She said “this time it just feels different”. I knew in my heart how tired she was. She said she didn’t know if she was going to be able to go back to work. If you knew my Grammy you‘d know that she’d rather die than not be able to go back to work, and that’s exactly what she did. With this hidden strength and unconditional love flowing through me, I said “Grammy you know if you are tired, you can go, it’s really up to you, I promise I will be okay” , She agreed. We ended our conversation with her telling me that the last time she saw me I looked more beautiful and happy than she’d ever seen me, she said I was just glowing. It makes me so happy to know that that is the last image of me that my Grammy had seen.
 
Three days later my cell phone rang at 6:00am, it was the call that I intuitively knew was coming, but dreaded facing. Then it hit me, the panic, the tears, the mourning, the heartbreak, the finality, the questions, and the confusion. I can go on and on about the many emotions and feelings that flooded my mind and body that unforgettable morning. I could feel my soul escaping my body from the fear of knowing I’d be seeing her for the very last time.
 
That was three months ago, and it hasn‘t been easy, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I know my Grammy wouldn‘t want me to spend it grieving her. She wants me to spend my Thanksgiving being present and cherishing my beautiful family. I am so grateful for all that I still have, for all of the years I had with her, and for all of the love she gave to me. Through her I have learned so many wonderful lessons that I can pass on to my children. There are times when I look at my children, that I feel as if she is behind my eyes looking at them as well with complete awe and love, as if for the very first time. This has made me a better and more patient mother, thank you Grammy.
 
So this Thanksgiving, love with an open heart, and enjoy every moment you have with your family, because this moment is all we ever really have.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to all!   

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