So... the other night I had an interesting series of thoughts all in about three seconds. Let me see if I can walk you through them.
Grandparents. Love them. Grandpa Stratton. Missing him. His hugs. They made me smile. His smile. You could feel his smile when he hugged you. He had a unique warmth to his hugs. I want to be like that. I am going to be the "warmest" old lady you'll ever meet.
I concluded I want to be the old lady that makes anyone and everyone feel special. I loved the way Grandpa made me feel like one of his own- even though I was only a part of his life and family for these last five short years. When he'd hug me I could feel a special kind of love coming from him... unconditional and practically tangible. I've determined that I am going to practice this skill until it is natural for me. I want people to feel an appreciation from me even if I never say a word about it. Not that I'm scared to vocalize those feelings... it's just that I have met very few people that could make me feel so good about myself and what I'm doing like Grandpa would. He didn't have to say a whole lot to make me, and all of us, feel good about myself. He'd always mention at least once that he had the prettiest girls and he'd always remind me to take care of myself and my boys (I always felt like Colby was included in "my boys"). It didn't take much... and here I am thinking he had a special gift to make us feel special. But I think the gift was found in the way he simply felt we were important. And that feeling could really come through. All in all, I think that's what I want to possess. That gift to simply make someone feel important without making a big deal about it.
It's funny. I've thought a lot about my relationship with Grandpa Stratton and wondered why he impacted me so much. I have some of the greatest grandparents in the whole world. I LOVE my grandmas dearly. Both have always told me how dear I am to them. My Grandma Anja has always called me her "Number One" because I was her first grandchild and I'm pretty sure I'm the coolest one ever. Wink, wink. She was a single mom for many years and did her best to provide for her family. Now that I'm a mom, I can't even imagine having to carry the burden of being the head of the household AND the mommy. My Grandma Goettsche is another great example of strength to me. She had eight children, seven of them boys, and to have raised that many wild children and live to tell the tales... that's incredible. She was widowed rather early and has kept up on her own still devoted to her only love. I have a deep respect for her and her love of my Grandpa. She let me live with her for the summer after I graduated high school and we created a special connection. I never had the chance to get to know my own grandpas. My Grandpa Vargas passed away when my mom was on her mission and my Grandpa Goettsche passed away when I was only one. I've still learned some great lessons from these men because there have been some great stories shared. One might think I really missed out, but I was blessed with a "step" grandpa that has always loved me 110% and I him. He's a great example of friendliness and patience.
When Colby and I got married I knew a whole ton of great things were in store for me. Something I underestimated was the love of his family though. His grandparents especially. Of course I knew they loved me but now I have times that I think I'm more loved than even Colby and that's a hard spot to beat. Haha... All joking aside, I'm so grateful for all of my grandparents. All nine of them. And sometimes you can't truly appreciate the things you have until they're gone. And so I commit to becoming the greatest, sweetest, most loving old lady ever. That way there will never be shortage of good feelings about me when I'm gone someday...