Week 3 of the gratitude challenge is one that I can write pages and pages and pages about: my family.
I make no secret that my favorite people in the entire world is my family. It is the easiest thing in the world for my to be grateful for them. For the last two years I have been struggling at California State University, Fullerton. The program has worn me down, and as of yesterday, I am no longer a part of the program. While I was in meeting after meeting listening to how I was academically dishonest and emotionally unstable, my family was there to make me laugh and remind me that they loved me whether I was a cheater or not.
My brother eloquently reminded me that sometimes in life you have to have to play the game to survive. He told me:
“Sometimes in life you have to suck a dick. You don’t have to like it, and you sure as hell don’t have to swallow, but sometimes you just have to suck a dick.”
My sister and brother-in-law took me out, sent me cat pictures, and reminded me that the people in the program are the misguided racist people, and that what I put up with in their presence is not the real world. They joke with me, and don’t let me wallow in my misery. We talk, text and hang out with each other all the time, and although they usually have to drag me out kicking and screaming, it is always a good time.
The rest of my family has been equally as supportive of my journey. My aunt, uncle, and cousins have been outraged on my behalf and supportive of my journey. We are lucky enough to get to spend a lot of time together, and I love hanging out with them.
I know that everyone says that they have the best family, but I honestly believe that my family is the best, We laugh, we joke, we support each other, and we are lucky enough to live near each other.
This week the gratitude for my family goes a little bit deeper. Today is the anniversary of my grandma’s death. This is a hard day for my mom. She has spent the last 19 years without her mother. I think of all the times I have cried on my mom’s shoulder, gone out to dinner with her, watched movies with her, cooked dinner, gone on vacation with her, and driven her crazy. I have the luxury of always having her in my corner.
My mom does not. She doesn’t get to cry to her mom when she has a bad day, or go out to dinner, or even just have phone conversations. I know that my mom misses my grandma every day. Their relationship was far from perfect, and my grandma had a lot of daemons, but she loved my mom, and I know that she loved us too.
My grammy was a stunner. She was born March 19, 1938 in New York. She was a lover of big hair, big glasses, and big purses. I remember the crazy large glasses, the outrageous purses, and the long painted nails. She was killed in a car accident January 16, 1996 because she refused to wear her seat belt. For a woman who wouldn’t put her key in the ignition if one of us was not belted in, she was careless about her own safety. Having only been able to spend a limited amount of time with my grammy makes me appreciate my mom that much more. I’m grateful for all the time that I get with my family, but a little extra grateful today that I still have my mommy around.