I got a nice little surprise on Saturday afternoon, ironically, as I was furiously working on a new essay: My essay “What My Grandmother’s Stories Taught Me About Life and Love” went live on HelloGiggles! I’ve been wanting to break into this awesome site for awhile now (way to go, Zooey Deschanel!), and the fact that I got to do it with a piece about my grandmother just makes it extra special. It’s weird because you’re never really aware of the impact your loved ones have had on you until they’re no longer here. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been thinking more about my grandparents and all the good times we shared. My favorite part of those visits?
All. The. Family. Stories. She had literally thousands of them, and I never got tired of hearing them.
Here’s an excerpt of the essay, and I’m SO happy they used my grandparent’s wedding photo (side note: The photo almost didn’t happen until someone said, “you need a photo on your wedding day!” This is the only one they have from that day)…
Maybe her influence is even part of the reason I became a writer. Stories are powerful. Sharing who you are is powerful. Being brave enough to be vulnerable is powerful. My grandmother was all those things.
Hearing those stories as a kid, I appreciated them simply as a look into my grandmother’s life when she was young. But now, I can’t help but see the sneaky little tricks she pulled on us. She was telling amazing stories, sure, but more than that, she was sharing her wisdom and teaching little life lessons along the way. About finding out who you are. About running full-speed ahead after your passion. About living fearlessly. About falling in love and not looking back. It takes courage to do that, and I’m grateful every day for the courage my grandmother passed on to me. Be brave. Be you. And tell lots of stories.
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo
P.S. Make sure you hug your loved ones extra tight today!! 🙂