I have always loved you. And I always will. Now of course, I do not remember the first time we met (how could I? I was only a newborn) but I know that you do. When I look at pictures from those beginning days, I can see that we all looked so happy together. My favorite picture is the one with Great Grandma June, you and I, and my mother. The four generations of us strong women. I proudly keep a copy of that picture safe, so that I can look at it from time to time and remember where I came from. <3
We spent a lot of time together those first few years of my life, and I remember bits and pieces of it. Grandpa trying to teach me Italian words in to make it hard on us while you try to teach me some English words. Natalie and I helping feed Cali Kat, and then sneaking a few hard cat food pieces ourselves lol. Blake, Natalie and I raking massive piles of leaves in your front yard, only to grab Cali and jump in all together, immediately scattering all the leaves again (boy, did your cat hate us, but hey we were only children). Measuring ourselves every year on the height chart you kept in the hallway (it sometimes seemed like a competition between us cousins, not who was the tallest but who had the most height marks lol). Grandpa telling us all those CRAAAAZY stories about screen doors in submarines :D and other hoopla, and you convincing us that he just was a great storyteller with a wild imagination and a sense of humor.
As a teenager, I continued to love and have great respect for you. You were not only my awesome grandmother but a mother of four wonderful children, who kept it together through all the hard years of my mother, aunt and uncles' childhood. I wanted to keep tradition with you and my mother and have four children myself. I based a lot of my teenage girl dreams on you and my mother's experiences. I loved coming over and spending time with you, helping you with housework or just simply talking about your younger years. I especially liked to hear about when my mother was young and you lived by the lake. That was my favorite story to imagine. You had a lot of wisdom from life experiences and I loved that about you.
When I grew into an adult and had my son, I based a lot of my parenting morals on how my childhood was. And the main thing I remember from my childhood is my grandparent influence. This is why, I try my best to get Alan to see both of his grandparents on a weekly basis, and his great grandparents as much as possible. :) Along with my mother and father, you gave me a wonderful childhood. And I thank you for that.
Grandma, I love you so very much. Please be strong for us, and please pull through. So that Alan can grow up with you like I did. <3