As I sit here reminiscing and looking through pictures of my childhood, I pick through a few pictures and notice a smile that has always been familiar to me for so many years. Ever since my earliest childhood, I've never forgotten the warmth, the sense of belonging and the great tradition that smile made me feel.
Wonderful grandmothers are known for holding tradition. Amazing grandmothers are there to bring us a sense of belonging, and the warmth a marvelous grandmother brings is unmatched, undeniable and definitely not forgotten.
I have one of those grandmothers, and she is absolutely miraculous in every one of those ways and more.
I remember spending time at my grandmother's house for Christmas, and during the summer and other times of the year as well. Some of the things we did there at Christmas, I still practice during the holiday seasons today. I always felt comfortable and part of a great family when I was around grandma's house. But... there came a time when I couldn't come around anymore and I missed my grandma and I started to forget the sounds, the smells, and the people around grandma's house. It was odd hearing friends talk about their cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents because I couldn't remember all of my family. Except my grandmother was never forgotten. Her smile, her love, her... "How you doing, baby?" were always remembered and cherished. I remember coming back to good ol' Mound Bayou and thinking, where's my grandma, I gotta see her. Nothing made me feel like I belonged there like my grandmother. The love and warmth from you grandma always reminded me of the wonderful family I and my children are a part of. My understanding of the importance of family started with you, and my memories of the warmth I always felt will always be memorialized.
Now there are certain ways about my life and all of our lives that are deeply rooted from the upbringing and love from our grandmother and grandfather, to some of you, your mother and father, and of course, sister and brother to others. Anyone who knows a Thompson, understands that there is a "Thompson way" about how things are done. The Thompson sons were raised in a particular way and they have instilled a lot of those values and morals into their own families and friends alike. This is just how it is and how it always will be thanks to you grandma. Any and all people who have that Thompson blood running through them are inept to the trend setting characteristic, where leading others and marking our own path are regular practices in our lives. That natural ability allows us to make a difference in so many lives and that's why, once we come to understand ourselves, being a follower just does not suit us. So I wanna say thank you grandma. You and grandpa truly did a spectacular job raising your boys.
Grandma, I wish I could have been there, to see that smile and to feel that warmth that made me feel I belonged. 80 years huh? That's a lot of years of influence, a lot of lives touched, a lot of hearts warmed and an unlimited number of traditions, customs, and ways of life motivated. And just know that this one life here is richer and more blessed thanks to you.
I love you, grandma. Thank you for your efficacious,(positive and progressive) impact on my life.Therefore I pray that I can make as many positive differences as possible in my everyday life as a teacher, father, family member and friend; just like you have in my life.