Today marks the start of a new series, letters I am writing to people who have changed my life for the better in their own unique way. I look forward to writing many more letters, but there is the first - to my grandma and my friend.
Dear Grandma Relli,
I know last month marked 14 years that you've been gone, but I still remember you like I saw you yesterday. That was one of your best qualities - you always made me and everyone you met feel like they were home when they talked to you. I remember your tiny little New York house with a piece of land that got covered in the most beautiful red and orange leaves in the fall. I remember laughing until I cried as you described your active war against the squirrels in your yard who tried to steal food from the bird feeder, and succeeded in the most ridiculous of ways.
When we lived overseas, you came on flights that lasted 12+ hours just to visit us, at a time when flying wasn't so common. Looking back, I can't believe you did that alone. I'm sure that was a little scary, but seeing that you cared enough to come and visit despite how you probably felt about it meant the world to us. In fact, it means even more today than it did at the time.
I'll never forget the Christmas you came to stay with us. I challenged you to peel apples in one smooth motion, and you spent hours amusing me as you made the best apple pie in the world. That was the year you gave me long, striped, toe socks and I skated on the hard wood floors around and around until I wore holes on them the first day. You laughed at me when I showed you how I had ruined them in less than 24 hours. I think you knew what was coming when you gave them to me ;)
When I broke my arm, you sent flowers and a teddy bear. When I needed encouragement, you called me and talked to me. I was only 10 years old when you died, and even then I knew how lucky I was to have a grandma like you.
I wish you were still around. I wish I could look forward to your visits every year. You would love Nathan - he takes such good care of me, and he would have loved you as well. I wish you could have met your grandkids and spoiled them as much as you spoiled me and my siblings. I'm glad you're in a happier place now, free from worries and struggles. I know that I will get to see you again one day - and then maybe my toe socks won't wear out so quickly.
I am so thankful you were in my life. Thank you for loving me so much for as long as you could.
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