I have a hero in my life. She was a mother to two boys and a grandmother to four girls and three boys. She worked as a teacher for many years and was married to her college sweetheart, who was also a teacher. She put the needs of those around her before her own needs and never complained about it. She always had a smile on her face, even through the tears, maintaining a strong character and acting as a support system to her family and friends.
I would spend at least two weekends a month with her in her home. She would pick me up from my parents’ home and then we would go to a little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant in Fullerton, California. We would order spaghetti and indulge in the wrapped, crunchy bread sticks, always grabbing a couple for the road. After dinner, we would go to the bookstore where she would buy me a book of my choosing – usually one belonging to the Babysitter’s Club series. We’d go to her house, get in our jammies, and watch an evening show.
In the morning, she would open the door to the guest room I stayed in and would peek in. I could always tell she was there because I could smell her scent. I’d look up and the redheaded woman would be looking at me behind glasses, smiling a smile full of love and happiness. She would then open the door and ask me if I wanted Honey Nut Cheerios in a blue plastic bowl. I always said yes. We’d watch the morning cartoons together, while she read the morning paper at the same time.
We’d get dressed and head to Carl’s Jr. to pick up a strawberry shake for a special man in her life. We’d visit him and I could see the love and caring she had for him and for their fifty plus years of marriage. I wanted the kind of marriage and relationship she had with him some day for myself.
We’d pick Gardenias from the bushes in front of her house and float them in crystal bowls of water. We would pick the Persimmons from her tree on the side of the house for her to eat throughout the week. We would search for Myrtle the Turtle in the backyard and pick strawberries to snack on. We would play with Lincoln Logs and PIck Up Sticks. We would build lasting memories together as a grandmother and granddaughter.
One day, my dad told my sisters and I that grandma died during the night. I couldn’t believe it. I just talked to her. She couldn’t die. She was my hero and heroes don’t die. I sat there in shock and slowly the tears rolled down my cheeks. Was this a nightmare? When was I going to wake up? No. It was real life. My hero had gone on to another place to be a hero to someone else.
She may not be with me today in person, but she will always be a hero to me. She was an amazing person and I am so thankful to call her my grandmother. I miss her and love her and thank her for the love she showed me and for the hero she was to me. She is my grandmother and always will be my hero.
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