The memories of being with my grandmother, or Nana as I called her, are never ending. She taught me how to sew, clean silver, clean a toilet, use a typewriter, stay quiet when you want to scream, speak up for yourself, stay strong in a storm, respect yourself with others, and so much more.
One of the things I'll never forget is the work-ethic that was instilled and expected. Though my mom and dad both have work ethics strong ethics, my grandmother's stories have still stuck in the back of my mind.
As a child, Nana grew up in a family of six. The oldest of four children, she was responsible for the well-being of her three younger brothers. During the day she would go to school, use her chalk board and chalk to learn how to read, write and use arithmetic, and in the afternoons they would pick cotton for money. She knew there was more than picking cotton in life, she knew there was more than living poorly. She worked hard to graduate high school and then moved to the nearest city where she got her first job.
After she got her first real job, she never stopped working. Though she could be stubborn, feisty and say things you probably didn't want to hear, she stood by what she believed.
When I was five-years-old, every Friday after work my grandmother would come pick me up. I'd have on my white cowboy boots and white suite case and be ready by the side of the road ready to go to her house. Friday nights consisted of t.v., Mama Mia pizzas, and stories. Saturday mornings we'd take coupons to Fred's dollar store to find the best bargains. Whatever money the coupons would save us, she'd give to me for spending money. Sunday mornings we'd go to church in a near by town by and I'd get $.50 for a Dr. Pepper by a church lady. Though I was too busy sitting in the floor, writing notes, or looking at all the old people's faces to pay attention to the sermon, the one thing I did learn was the faithfulness my grandmother had.
She made it seem like anything I wanted to do was possible. Whether it was to swing higher on the swings, or make a difference in the lives of others, she always made it seems real.
Today, I'm thankful for my mother's mother. My nana.
She taught me how to give to others. She taught me how to be faithful in my believes. She taught me that education can really take you far. She taught me that hard work can take you farther.
And, she taught me how to be thankful for what I have.