I was out to dinner the other night with my boyfriend when a freshman came into the restaurant with her grandparents, noticeably excited to tell them all about her new world her in Bloomington. I listened to this family talk about this student’s first month of school, her first accounting test, her plans for sorority recruitment and when she would be coming home next to have a Sunday dinner. As I sat there, I looked over at my boyfriend and said, “I wish my grandparents would come down and visit me,” and as the words were coming out of mouth, I realized I was saying this to a person who does not have the pure blessing of having their grandparents around. As we got into a semi in-depth conversation about grandparents, I began to comprehend that I am a rare, but immensely lucky individual to say that I still have each one of my grandparents present in my life, and I could not help but let my mind wander to complete admiration of these people who have made me the person I am today.
So, here is a thank you to the most selfless, influential, lion-hearted, remarkable and embracing individuals that I know.
Thank you for building an unbreakable, demonstrative family for us all to come home to, fall back on and look to in every situation of our lives. You have not only provided us with a family, but you have instilled the importance of family, loyalty and pride in ourselves and in those in our corner. From hosting Sunday dinner every single week since I can remember, feeding an army every Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter and going through the pure insanity of family vacations, you have done everything in your ability to make sure that our family is always united and filled with love (and comfort food).
Thank you for supporting me from four minutes away to four hours away, from school to boys and taking my side when no one seems to understand my point of view. I will never fully understand how you are never wrong, how you always know what is best for me and how you know exactly what I need in a college care package (my grandma’s party chex mix saves lives, no question). Thank you for letting me paint your nails, come over and watch hours of Jeopardy, letting me help you in the kitchen, letting me raid your closet (this applies to both my grandma and grandpa) and thank you, for the every-holiday-lottery tickets (even though I lose every time) and adding beef sticks to my gifts for a good laugh (considering I have been a vegetarian for years now).
Thank you for raising the most incredible children that I got blessed with as parents and/or step-parents and thank you for always having their back, because even though you told them that they’d figure it out when they had their own kid, you couldn’t help but spoil us with love (and after-school snacks). Thank you for always passing around the Christmas magazine with my model of a mother on the cover, thank you for picking me up from school, practices, games and friend’s houses when they were busy and thank you for telling them that they’re wrong in front of me so I can feel better about myself. I know there are a multitude of things that you did for my parents that I will never know about, or that will be used in lessons to come, but thank you for doing them. You did an amazing job raising them and forming them into the best parents I could ever dream of, and I love watching them become more like you every single day.
Thank you for everything that you have taught me in my short nineteen years, thank you for all the things I don’t know that you did, the things that you do and the things that you will do for me in the years to come. You seek no praise or repayment being a grandparent, you truly do these things because you love all of us. I know that you are always there to love, support and guide me as I continue to find my way in this world and I know that despite living four hours away, rather than 1.4 miles, that I will always have warm hugs (and some sort of poke cake) waiting for me whenever I need it.
I am truly a better person for being able to spend all of this time with you and learn these life lessons, gain these important values and recognize my personal worth from your guidance.
I love you more than you could ever imagine, and more than I could ever sit here and put into words. You are my absolute godsend, and I thank you.