My grandmother taught my mother love so she could teach me how to care for people. My grandmother taught my mother faith so she could teach me how to believe. Gee Gee* paved the way for me to have a life full of love, kindness and belief. But she didn’t stop there. She took it upon herself to spend 23 more years teaching me lessons through our experiences together as she helped raise me to become the woman I am today.

You held my hand when we crossed the street from the bus stop just like you held the hand of anyone who needed a hand to hold. You held my hand at the dinner table to offer a prayer and held my hand during the last conversation we had. I always knew whose hand to grab in times of gratitude and times of sorrow.

You took care of me throughout my childhood. You took me to dance and McDonald’s and watched me when my mom was at work. You gave me endless kisses and hugs and made me laugh through your intricate dance moves when you needed attention. You taught me how to love people even when they couldn’t love me back.

The way a granddaughter’s responsibilities shift is a beautiful thing. As time passed, I took you on coffee dates and to doctor’s appointments. You called me your little chauffeur. I gave you endless kisses and hugs and made you laugh when I told you stories. I taught you that I could love you as much as you loved me. I matured in life and used that love to show you my appreciation for all the time we shared and the delicate lessons you taught me.

As your memory faded, I accepted that our moments together might fade to you, but never to me. Gee Gee, you unconditionally loved me whether you recognized me when I came to visit or thought I was a friendly stranger. You selflessly taught me lessons even when you didn’t realize you were. You nurtured me from the day we met to your last day on earth.

You taught me to be strong. You worked hard on earth and now it’s time for me to work hard for you by continuing to spread the light and love you created. While you and I can’t make new memories, I can cherish you through the meaningful moments of laughter and kindness we shared.

I know you’ll watch over me, my guardian angel. Don’t feel anymore pain or sorrow. I have no fear because the amazing soul you prepared here on earth is treating you kindly in heaven and looking down upon me.

Love you bigger than the heavens, Gee Gee.

*Gee Gee is the name we called my grandmother from the day we could just barely talk.

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