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My Grandmother, My Guardian Angel

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Essay title: My Grandmother, My Guardian Angel

I vividly recall the weekend trips to Grandma's house as a child. Upon entering the familiar, wooden door, I am greeted with the aroma of a home-cooked meal and the humble scent of cinnamon potpourri. Mom and I reserve our place at the memory-carved table as the last dashes of spice are added to a recipe known by all, but never duplicated. As I finish the last few bites of a garlic-graced dish, I find myself the attraction of a furry creature with intense green eyes. I know without looking that the critter is one of a few felines that call this place home-- the kitty-cat table mats are an obvious giveaway. Though my grandmother birthed eight children and held many crying babies, her cats are the children that have taken the place of my mother and her siblings. I jump down from my seat to grab a hanging piece of tattered shoestring and run off with the playful animal for an entertaining way to spend my time. Grandma and Mom have gossiping to do anyways- I won't understand until I'm older.

My grandmother's inspirational story has illustrated to me the power of true love, strength, and courage. Through my childhood, my grandmother meant togetherness, care and comfort, and a sense of belonging for all who knew her hospitality. The death of my grandmother three years ago has created a spirit of encouragement, willpower, and a desire for success that has guided me through my toughest personal struggles. She will continue to live on through every accomplishment of my own because she has been the one to inspire me in all I have done.

As I have grown, I have become more aware of how strong my grandmother truly was. It was never a burden for her to put others before herself; in fact, I think she held a personal expectation to be the caretaker for everyone in the family. The holidays illustrated my grandmother's selflessness more than any other time of the year. Though Christmas and Thanksgiving were full of hustle and bustle, she never once buckled under the pressure or allowed others to see the stress she was under. Her signature Marshmallow Salad was always the perfect taste of sweet, just as the ham was always cooked to a glaze of flawlessness. With a subtle sound of humming, she worked her way through the day without much spoken appreciation-- a simple thank-you or a small compliment-- from most of my relatives. I don't think a lot of them knew just how much they should have said until the day came when we all fell silently speechless.

Recalling the day of August 4th, 2003, the day my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, is difficult because I once had no words to describe my emotions or the situation I was faced with. I remember the cramped hospital waiting room where we all sat and waited for the news that none of us could bare to hear. It had been only three hours into a surgery that was supposed to last the better part of the day when a shorter man in a clean, white coat and scrubs delivered the

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