My grandmother had always been special to me, but I never knew just how special her life lessons were until long after she had passed away.


From the time I was a little kid, my grandmother had taught me what truly mattered in life, God and family. My grandmother had raised 11 children on a small farm and had somehow survived and remained sane. All of her children were very close growing up and even still now. Whenever I would see my grandma she would tell me stories of my uncles and aunts growing up, and ask if I had been keeping up with my prayers. I had always told her the truth that I haven’t prayed as much as I could have, and she would always give me a gentle reminder to pray as much as possible.


My grandma died in November. I remember the exact day because I had been upset that my mom couldn’t take me to hockey practice. At the time I hadn’t known she had passed away and wouldn’t be told for almost another whole day. My parents had decided to wait a day to figure out how to tell a ten-year-old that his hero had just died.   


The day after my grandma had died I had woken up in a very bad mood. My mom had been crying the night before and had made me skip hockey. I sat down at the kitchen table and stared at the frost covering the window above our kitchen sink. I had been the first one up and had had to make myself breakfast. I was pretty mad about that too.


When my parents and sister had finally gotten up, my dad had announced that I would be staying home from school that day and Tenille and I would be staying home alone. I hadn’t understood why I got to skip school, but I was beginning to get into a much better mood.


My parents had left soon after that. My dad had gone to work and I wasn’t quite sure where my mom had gone, but I hadn’t really cared either. As soon as they left the house I dashed downstairs stripped into my underwear and started watching a movie. Tenille had stayed upstairs and sounded as if she was cleaning. I had turned up the volume to the T.V and attempted to ignore her. Then she started vacuuming.


I paused my movie and marched up the stairs once again in a very bad mood. I demanded to know why on Earth she was cleaning when she could have been doing anything she wanted because mom and dad aren’t home. She had looked at me and explained very calmly that she was cleaning so that mom wouldn’t be so upset over her mother dying.


I had stared at her in disbelief. I started crying saying that it couldn’t possibly be true, I had seen her the week before and she had seemed fine then. Tenille, realizing that she had just told me the secret, tried desperately to calm me down. She had even let me eat ice cream on the couch, something that we were never allowed to do.


When my parents had gotten home I had gotten angry and started yelling at them for not telling me. My mom had gone to her room crying and my dad had told me off for being inconsiderate of my mother’s feelings. It hadn’t really occurred to me to think of what other people were feeling, but at the time I had been so frustrated I honestly don’t care.


The shock of my grandma dying left me in deep despair. She was my favorite person, and just like that she was gone. My whole life had been flipped around. I had been mad at my parents for not telling me, and mad at my sister for being so insensitive.


I spent a whole three days being mad at my family, right up until my grandmothers funeral. When I saw her picture at the church I remembered what she had taught me, that there were no greater things in life than God and family. I had decided to forgive my parents, not yet understanding that they had just been trying to protect me, and had forgiven Tenille because she genuinely didn’t know that I had no knowledge of what had happened.


My grandmother had taught me many important things in life, but her lessons on prayer and family were by far the most meaningful.

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