I vividly recall the weekend trips to Grandma's house as a child. Upon entering the familiar, wooden door, I am greeted with the aroma of a home-cooked meal and the humble scent of cinnamon potpourri. Mom and I reserve our place at the memory-carved table as the last dashes of spice are added to a recipe known by all, but never duplicated. As I finish the last few bites of a garlic-graced dish, I find myself the attraction of a furry creature with intense green eyes. I know without looking that the critter is one of a few felines that call this place home-- the kitty-cat table mats are an obvious giveaway. Though my grandmother birthed eight children and held many crying babies, her cats are the children that have taken the place of my mother and her siblings. I jump down from my seat to grab a hanging piece of tattered shoestring and run off with the playful animal for an entertaining way to spend my time. Grandma and Mom have gossiping to do anyways- I won't understand until I'm older.
My grandmother's inspirational story has illustrated to me the power of true love, strength, and courage. Through my childhood, my grandmother meant togetherness, care and comfort, and a sense of belonging for all who knew her hospitality. The death of my grandmother three years ago has created a spirit of encouragement, willpower, and a desire for success that has guided me through my toughest personal struggles. She will continue to live on through every accomplishment of my own because she has been the one to inspire me in all I have done.
As I have grown, I have become more aware of how strong my grandmother truly was. It was never a burden for her to put others before herself; in fact, I think she held a personal expectation to be the caretaker for everyone in the family. The holidays illustrated my grandmother's selflessness more than any other time of the year. Though Christmas and Thanksgiving were full of hustle and bustle, she never once buckled under the pressure...
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