My grandmother’s name is Ann, but we just call her Grams. She taught me a lot over the years, like how to appreciate a good cup of coffee and how to make pierogies. She was independent and lively. And she understood the important of persistence, especially when it came to love.
Her husband died of cancer when her three daughters were young. Relatives advised her to find another husband to support her — that‘s the way it was back then. Instead, she went to work in a factory at a time when women weren’t welcomed there. She did it her way, raised her daughters and built a family.
When I was young, my family had some tough times. I remember many times when Grams would recognize that I was worried, give me a hug and reassure me, “Don’t worry. It’s going to be all right.” She meant it, and I believed her. That hug made everything better.
She liked to say that life is too short, so don’t shortchange yourself. Don’t waste it. Keep at it. Be generous. Help others. And when you love someone, make sure they know it.
Be persistent about life and love.
When I was in college and visited home for a weekend, Grams always called to see how I was doing. She’d invite me over for a cup of coffee before I headed back to school. Of course, I was a busy young person and often said thanks but I had other plans. She said that was OK. She never sounded disappointed. She seemed glad just that we could talk.
She was persistent, but not insistent. She taught me that important difference.
Thankfully, I got many more chances to spend time with Grams over the years. We shared many cups off coffee, made many batches of potato and cabbage pierogies. I cherish those times.
She always made sure that you knew how happy she was to see you. She reminded you that you were loved.
After Grams’ funeral, I was driving home and thinking about how blessed I was to have this amazing person in my life. As I thought about her, I felt her there in the car with me. I’ve shared this story with others who had the same experience with someone they loved. They sense that they are still right there with them.
Is it just our imaginations at work? Or is it something else, some connection on a level that we can’t fully comprehend? I don’t know.
I do know that it would be like her to find a way to stay with us. Someone who is that persistent about love isn’t going to let a little thing like death get in the way.