My beloved grandmother…Sylvia Edith Goldman passed away two years ago and she was, and still is, my soul and inspiration in all that I am.

The words that come to mind when I think about my grandmother are grateful, generous, classy, intelligent, beautiful, strong, determined, independent, creative, passionate, spiritual, simple, loving, kind, and an inspiration to so many who loved her.  She was the woman in my life who inspired me. She was the woman in my life that I learned about any sense of normalcy, and kindness, and what unconditional love really means.  My grandmother taught me so much about life, and she was so proud of me.

My grandmother was beautiful on the inside, and the outside, and when she was a teenager, she won first prize in a beauty contest. They were judging her outside beauty, and she deserved to win. I can tell you that she has won the award in hundreds of hearts for the most beautiful woman on the inside. Whether my grandmother knew you for a minute, or a lifetime, you immediately felt the love coming from her eyes, her expressions, her gestures, her words, and her connection  through her heart and soul. She touched every person that she met with her inner beauty, her beautiful smile, her laughter, and her unique gift of selflessness, and her authentic love of others. She had a gift of making others feel comfortable and welcome in her presence. She would meet someone in a supermarket, the mall, a doctor’s office, anywhere, and begin a conversation. She’d call me to tell me about what their struggles were in life, and how she was going to pray for them. She’d always say, “Oh, I feel so bad. I wish I knew somebody that could help them.” What she didn’t realize is that just be starting a conversation, she had given them a huge gift. By listening, by offering her kind words, and prayers. When you were talking to my grandmother, she was completely focused on you, never distracted by anything or anyone else. She made everyone in her presence feel like they were the only one in the world. She emulated the true meaning of love, light, goodness, and authenticity. She especially loved children, all children. She took so much delight in being around them, and beamed with joy in their presence, and they flocked to her.

My grandmother rarely complained about anything, even when she had the right to complain. She could be in the hospital recovering from a surgery, or living through a difficult time, and when I would call to check on  her, she’d immediately change the conversation over to me, and my family, always wanting to know how, and what everyone was doing. Even when she was struggling in the last few months of her life in 2014, when I last spoke with her in the rehabilitation hospital, she turned the conversation over to myself, and my family, asking about each of my children, and my granddaughter, Rosie, by name. I told her a funny little story about Rosie that made her laugh out loud. It was the most beautiful sound. Her laugh was so contagious, and I will always hear her in my mind.

I have loved to write since I was a young child, and she saved every poem, and card that I wrote for her and for my grandfather, and always encouraged me to write. She said that I wrote so beautifully.  Nanny was also an eloquent writer, and I had saved every card that she wrote to me, and to my children. Whenever I needed encouragement, or a loving word, I read her words, and always felt connected, and loved….I still do. I talk to her every day as I pray.

We also shared a love of cooking, and as a young girl, she would teach me how to cook, and throughout my life shared her recipes with me that I will pass on to my children, and grandchildren with love and pride.  She once said that “the family that cooks together, stays together.”  We will always be together in my heart, and I am so grateful that my children, and Rosie, share our passion of cooking. It is part of her legacy that we will enjoy.

We both enjoyed the English language, words, and reading. My grandmother had always wanted to be an English teacher. She was so proud of me for becoming a teacher. My grandmother was so articulate, poised, and intelligent, and had the patience of a saint, which are the most important qualities of a teacher.  For me, my grandmother, Sylvia Edith Goldman, was the greatest, and most influential teacher in my life.  My grandmother, and my grandfather, were so proud of any accomplishment that I achieved. Growing up, they would give me $1 for every “Excellent” or “A” on my report card, and loved to read the comments that my teachers wrote. My grandmother would tell EVERYONE about it. She taught me to love unconditionally, to have patience with all people, to always be interested and curious, and to live each day to the fullest.

We also shared a love of music, watching American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, and ice skating  We both LOVED to shop, although my grandmother wore me out, even at 100 years old! icon_smile.gif

My grandmother had the gift of gab, and when we talked on the phone, she could “out gab”me even at her age. Her mental agility was perfect right up until the end. Our conversations were always at least an hour, and sometimes, two or more. Her stamina was incredible. She loved to read, learn, and have meaningful, and scintillating conversations, right up until the end. She also took care of herself, and loved to get her nails, and hair done. Even if she was just going to stay home, she showered, and got dressed, and did her hair, and makeup.

I am filled with so much sadness that she has left us here on Earth, yet, I was blessed to have her for the 56 years that I have been alive, and I feel her presence every single day. I am so thankful to my grandmother, aka, Nanny, for always being there to cheer me on, to laugh with me, to cry with me, and for being the greatest story teller that I know.  My grandmother was a very detailed oriented woman, and when she told a story, she captured my attention like a child hearing a fairy tale for the first time.

Nanny was my best friend who I confided in, and trusted implicitly. I spoke to my grandmother a few times a week, and told her EVERYTHING. She ALWAYS supported me in whatever I did, and she made me laugh like nobody else.  We have lost the matriarch of the five generations of our family, but she was an angel in life, and I know is an angel in Heaven, not too far from us. She is with me EVERY DAY, guiding me with love. Nanny once told me that she “loves to wake up in the morning and sit by the window to pray, and look at the beautiful blue sky, and the green trees.” She loved to live her life, and she loved the simple things in life.

I am so thankful that I got to tell her that I loved her before she passed, and for all of the millions of “I love you’s” that we have exchanged over the years through words, and through our actions, and still feel that love in my heart. I hold so many beautiful and happy memories in my heart. I show my gratitude for my grandmother by celebrating her life with which she lived with dignity, and with so much strength, hope, and courage, and I will continue to live my life in the same way as a tribute to her. My grandmother prayed every day, for EVERYONE, and I always do the same.  I am so proud to be so much like Nanny. Nothing was too much to ask of my grandmother.

I like to think that my stubbornness, and my strength that has carried me throughout my life was inherited from Nanny, along with her good heart, kindness, and unconditional love of others.

Grandma, I miss you so much, but I see your light from Heaven, and listen for your voice in the wind, and the signs that you send to me through music. I will continue to live my life the way that you lived your life, selflessly, with faith, hope, and love, of myself, and of others. May God bless you with peace. Thank you for being one of the brightest lights in my life, and in the lives of Olivia, Matthew, Nicole, and Rosie.  I believe that we are all blessed with inheriting your inner beauty, and strength, and I am certain that with you in Heaven, and being a guardian angel, you are carefully guiding us all on our journeys. We will work hard to make you proud of us.

I used to say I love you, and you would always answer, “I love you more.” I’d say, “That’s debatable,” and we would both laugh. I love you more Nanny.

Happy 2 year anniversary in Heaven. You are dearly loved and dearly missed.



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