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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

The Apple and The Tree

In addition to her nose and chin, my grandmother gave me several things. Her desire to be enveloped by family and her love for a full house are traits she lovingly passed along. This odd need to feed anyone who walks into my house? I’m quite sure it’s genetic.

I attribute my ability to cry during Hallmark commercials directly to her, and the personality quirk my mom refers to as anal? Gram and I like to think of it as staunch determination. The worry gene? Evolution didn’t see a need to eliminate it from one generation to the next.

She refined my sweet tooth with weekly hot fudge sundaes, and she sprinkled them with a love for the underdog and sense of outrage at social injustice. She’s the only person who always understood what it was for me to have an “old soul” long before I’d taken off the training wheels, and she has an unflappable belief in second chances and new beginnings.

Her life story is one my pen has been itching to ink for several years. It’s full of gut-wrenching personal horrors, unusual road twists, and triumphs that speak to her soul’s unwillingness to wallow in despair. She has the spirit of a fighter and the heart of an angel, and I’m proud to be her granddaughter.

An hour on the phone Friday night reminded me of all the things I still don’t know about her, and all the lessons I still want to learn. Although she assures me she’s going to live to be at least 105, I’m starting to feel a new sense of urgency to know her more and to unearth the hidden gems of experience, wisdom and knowledge only she can help me to spit-polish and lovingly lay in a crown of understanding.

Every day should be grandparent’s day, but since this day is in fact the “official” holiday, I send my very special grandmother a great big virtual hug and a gentle nudge to remind her she has lots of story telling to do.

What, dear reader, did your grandmother lovingly pass on to you?

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