Grandma Yvonne, or “Grandma grandma” as she was often called, gave everything she had to make everyone else comfortable and happy. She never asked for help, and never really seemed to need it either. It always seemed like she had endless talents, from sewing and painting, to gardening and cooking, our grandma could do everything. She knew the value of hard work, and she helped instill a strong work ethic in us despite my numerous attempts to take every shortcut possible.
When we were younger, we spent most of our summers at our grandparents’ house while our dad was at work. She would take us into the backyard on what had to have been the absolute hottest days of the year, and we would pick berries. She had these long rows of raspberries that we would walk down and pick from. Somehow she always knew when we were taking shortcuts. If we got to the end of the row too quickly, she would send us back to the beginning to find all the berries we missed. We started walking slower through the berry bushes, hoping we could get away with not picking them if we just matched her pace, but she was never fooled. We were to stay in the garden until all the berries had been properly harvested. She taught us to do the job right, the first time. Luckily, we were always rewarded with berries in sugar, and there was always an abundance of homemade jam.
When I was about seven, she began to teach me how to sew. She taught me to pay attention to every pattern piece, every stitch, and every button. After I spent years producing shapeless potato sacks with uneven hems, I finally realized that the painstaking care she took with every piece, from simple pillows to three piece suits, was integral to the quality she produced. My junior year of high school, I asked my grandma if she would help me make a prom dress. She agreed, and much to her dismay, I bought the slipperiest satin I could find; candy apple red, and impossible to sew. Next, I picked the most intricate pattern I could find; hidden zipper, corseted top, boning...the works. I then proceeded to do very little, because of course I picked something far too complicated for my skill set at the time. She didn’t complain once. She set to work, and produced the most flawless red dress I have ever seen. It fit like a glove. It was couture perfection. I realized something wearing that dress. I realized that when she pushed through the pain in her hands, when she created each delicate perfect loop to hold the corset lacing, when she suffered in silence so that I could have my dream dress, she was saying “I love you.” That is the kind of woman she was, and the woman I aspire to be. The woman who gave everything she had to the people she loved. She didn’t do it for praise or recognition. She didn’t do it, and then guilt anyone for the backbreaking work she endured on their behalf. She put her all into everything because that is what you do for the people you love. She worked her hardest at every project put in front of her because when you take pride in your work, that is praise enough. sexy mother of the bride dress