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How My Grandmother Raised Me

My aunt (left) and grandma (right)

My aunt (left) and grandma (right)

Introduction

So if you've been reading any of personal hubs in the past, you'll discover that my grandma has been an important part of my life. She brought me up as her own and taught me a lot of life lessons. I wanted to share those with you as I continue to celebrate my grandma's life. If you look at the picture, can you guess her age? Well if you guessed sixty-five, you're absolutely wrong. If you guessed seventy, you're still wrong. My grandma will be turning eighty today. I'm still in awe of how healthy she has been my whole life and how nothing keeps her down. My grandma has been a shining example of living life to fullest and not letting anything stop you from living. My grandma raised me in a way that now, as an adult see more and more. I feel so fortunate.

My cousin Merica

My cousin Merica

Lesson One: You Are What You Are

The number one thing my grandma always taught me is that "you are what you are". What I mean by this is that people are all different and come in different shapes, sizes, from different places, follow different religions, etc. The thing is my grandma has never focused on these things about people. She simply accepted them for who they were. It didn't matter the race, creed, religion, or cultural beliefs. When one meets my grandma, you see that she is open to meeting you, kind, and for the most part, amiable. My grandma never upturned her nose or snubbed anyone that I've ever seen. In fact, she's always been the lady that greets you and smiles.

My grandma taught me that you should always try to speak to strangers, at least say hello. I didn't really get it, but as I've grown older I've found myself doing it. I speak to people in the grocery store and at the movies and it's like there's this awesome connection made. My grandma was so great about this, so casual. I'm so glad I learned this from her. I feel able to talk to anyone if I need to.

Lesson Two: If You Can't, You Can't

I used to be upset in my younger years when I really wanted to do something or make something happen. It would prove impossible and it would just devastate me. My grandma raised me with a reminder that "if you can't, you can't". Sometimes it's hard for us as people to accept that we're incapable of providing a service or deed for someone. Sometimes we can't make that wedding or visit that relative. My grandma always told me that sometimes you just can't make it or do it. It's not about being insincere but facing the truth. Sometimes you just can't. That idea has always been in my mind when I try to do so much and it doesn't work out. I couldn't do it, no matter how hard I tried. Instead of being devastated, I was able to move on much quicker, not mope about a failure. You do what you can. If you can't, you just can't. You can't beat yourself up about it. I think that's helped me so much as I've grown older.

My grandma's husband, Donald

My grandma's husband, Donald

Lesson Three: Treat Others Like You Want To Be Treated

There are people out there who treat others without regard of their feelings or what they've been through. My grandma has always taught me that you should never treat someone bad. You should always "treat people like you would want to be treated". This is the anthem of all parents, I think. Who doesn't teach this fundamental moral? So when I'm upset or angry, I calm myself. I use my words as best as I can and treat someone better despite my feelings. It's hard sometimes, but I'd like to think that those values that are instilled in me protect me making big mistakes.

My grandma has shown so much strength. Despite the strength of her heart, people have treated her badly, said terrible things to her. She doesn't flinch. She doesn't turn her back on anyone and she never uses a harsh tone or foul language. She continues to treat people like they should be treated in spite of how someone else is treating her. That shows a lot of strength and for me to see that has made me stronger. I strive to be an example just like she was to me.

My cousin Faris (left) my aunt Taffy and little cousin Jabari (center), and a neighbor

My cousin Faris (left) my aunt Taffy and little cousin Jabari (center), and a neighbor

Lesson Four: Family is Family

No matter how hard times get and how bad it may seem with a member of the family, it doesn't change one fundamental thing. "Family is family." There have been hard times when a family member was so upset that they wanted to leave the family, escape. My grandma couldn't have that. She had to correct the situation, make my family member realize that no matter what, they're still family. Sometimes times get hard and family is all you have. It doesn't matter what you're going through or the things you've done in the past. You're still family, we still love you.

When I came out to my grandma last year, I had this fear of her way of seeing me as changed. Though my imaginative thoughts came true. She was open with me and honest that I'm still her grandson and she still loves me. Who I am is who I am. She's been overwhelmingly supportive of me since then and I'm so glad to be a part of this lovely family!

My grandma relaxing

My grandma relaxing

Lesson Five: Have Patience

My grandma is never in a rush. She could wait in a long line without ever huffing or puffing. In fact, that major trait has rubbed off of me. I never cringe at the thought of waiting. In fact, I'm known for my patience when dealing with people and events. I think this patience of hers is so important. I never rush my life or get ahead of myself. I always take a steady pace and think things through. I'm not impulsive, I'm not seeking for a quick fix. I seek thoroughness beyond anything else.

It's so awesome the things that I've been taught. It seems only yesterday being taught them. The years have gone by, however, and I begin to realize how my grandma has truly affected me. She introduced me to Tolerance, Unconditional Love, Patience, and Hospitality. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing you had a good parent. I'm certain that my grandma has been a great parent to me and I'm so blessed to have her in my life.

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