Today, I’m thankful for my grandmother. Grannybird, if you will.
My whole life, Granny has been someone I could count on. When I was young, I remember meeting her in a Friendly’s parking lot in Gettysburg. It was the halfway point between home and Frederick, so it became the place that my mom or dad would drop Tyler and I off to go spend the weekend on the farm. Every Christmas, she’d read me Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree. As I grew older, her steadfastness never faltered. She gave me my first glass of wine, and she taught me how to make homemade mashed potatoes. (Although, we still disagree on how much butter is “too much” butter.) For my 16th birthday, she strutted her stuff all over New York City. A few months later, I was nervous to bring my first boyfriend over, but she didn’t hesitate to accept him with open arms. (To this day, a picture of Nate Lebo in front of a closed bar in New Orleans remains stapled to the picture board in the kitchen.) She made the drive to Carlisle for a picture or two before every dance during my high school years, and when graduation came around, she excitedly boarded a plane with me and we jet-setted to Paris. With my first year of college came many transitions, and she helped me through every one. She then supported me in my difficult decision to transfer to Pitt. I have now lived in Pittsburgh for over four years, and she has physically helped me move twice, visited a large handful of times, stocked my kitchen with groceries, and listened to my tearful “What am I going to do with my life?” phone calls. She drove through the awful winter weather to support me as I received my college diploma, and throughout my lifetime, she’s given me gifts that I’ll never be able to repay.
Today, she did it again.
Although I’ve never lived just down the road from her, she has always been such an important part of my life. We have traditions and inside jokes and we know each other’s history. She’s strong and steady, adventurous and a creature of habit, all at the same time. I talk to her like she’s one of my best friends, and maybe that’s because she’s my grandmother, and she is.
I’m thankful every day for the things she’s taught me, the traits she’s passed on to me, and the opportunities she’s given me.
Thank you, Bird. You’re my #1.