My mother's mother passed away on Valentine's Day 2017.
She was the family matriarch, her husband having died even before I was born.
Her ten children, my mother, uncles and aunts, are a close-knit group, each a purposeful self-driven individual. They learnt important life skills from their strict parents, who achieved great exploits in their days, and became respected members of society in their own right through sheer hard work.
We her grandchildren have largely been raised by her children in the same manner. A strong emphasis on hard work, discipline and spiritual life pervades the larger extended family as well, but grandma's particular flavor of it was distinct and unmistakable. She ran her household with a firm resolve and a gentle demeanor.
As her years wound to a close I began to see her more, but not often enough to become a regular. She seized every opportunity to advice and exhort me. Told me once or twice to find a good girl and get married early, in her direct simple way utterly devoid of ill will or harshness. If grandma had something she meant to say, she said it effectively.
I was pained to see her weakened by drugs while she was hospitalized. Never had it occurred to us that grandma, an ever-present rock, a strong lady, would be so vulnerable. But I am consoled by the fact that she ended her days surrounded by loved ones who had benefitted from her motherly love and care.
I will count myself blessed if I get a wife like grandma was to grandpa. My children will be blessed if they have a mother just like grandma. Knowing my mother, I pray that my children live to see and experience the blessing that they will call grandma. Because mum is grandma's daughter indeed. Even little sister, named after grandma, is mum's daughter indeed.
I thank GOD that I got to know grandma. I am honored to be able to trace my roots to her. May her legacy of wisdom and love transmit to all her generations, is my prayer. May I be a conduit of her principles to my children, and they to their children, is my prayer.