Last week, I went to the funeral of my friend Brianne’s dear grandmother. B’s grandma was one of those legendary grannies who seem fictitious in the retelling. Brianne and her two sisters spoke during the service, telling the crowd about how loving, supportive, and kind their grandmother was, and how deeply they were going to miss her. The service was wonderful, a sad but beautifully fitting tribute to a woman who touched so many lives.

I’d told myself I wasn’t going to cry during the funeral, but of course I started crying the second I sat down in the pew. I hated seeing my friend hurting, and of course, I was thinking about my own losses and the mortality of those I love.

At one point in the service, Brianne’s mom spoke about how B’s grandparents were always there – they literally never missed a single game, recital, or special event in their granddaughters’ lives. My own beloved Gramma was like this for me and my brother – she went to every softball game, cross-country match, recital, debate, you name it. We always knew we had her support. It was only after she was gone that I truly appreciated what her constant presence had meant to my confidence and emotional development. I was so lucky.

Heather, Gramma, Kyle

Heather & Gramma

And now, my kids are so lucky. My parents have gone to all of Annabel’s recitals, school singalongs, special teas, you name it. It’s harder for Mike’s parents because they live farther away, but they still make it down here for every birthday, graduation, and special event. I am so appreciative when these four people are always there for my kids.

at annie's graduation

My Grandma played a huge part in the person I am today, and I am so glad my own children will be partially molded by their four grandparents. I love how much my kids adore them. I love that my kids can always count on them. I tell Annabel and James every day to appreciate and love their grandparents, and never, ever take them for granted. I know I don’t.