On Saturday, I picked up my Grandmother so that she could ride with me to a wedding shower for my cousin which was being held about 2 hours from where we live. My Grammy never drove much on freeways and relies on Papa to take her where she needs to go, if it is farther than HEB or Wal-Mart. So I had two hours alone with my Grandmother. Mr. R has often told me that my Grammy and I are the same person born to different generations. We have many of the same personality quirks, except I have, luckily, escaped her OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) tendencies. I take it as a compliment to be like this woman who has managed to raise 6 kids and stay married for over 50 years. On our drive we talked about many things. Some, I expected, like family news and how some of the grandchildren have made some poor decisions lately, and some topics were a surprise. My Grammy, who I always thought of as a strong opinionated woman, told me that she wished she had spoken out more for herself, in her marriage and in life. She said that she wished she knew how to do more for herself; my Grandpa does all the finances and all the arrangements for things. This is not to say that she does not have input. Grammy has a way of making her opinion known and Papa has learned to listen or ignore as needed. Like many who have been married for a long time, she wonders how she will manage things if he dies before her. She told me the first ten years of a marriage are the hardest; first you have to learn to live together and then you have to learn to live with kids. My Grandmother, who has lived 73 years and rarely acts her age, wishes that she had more time to do more things or that she had made different choices. Even with all that, she loves her husband and still thinks he is the best man she has ever met. I think Mr. R is right. She is me and I love her.

–Jane, who has been blessed to know her maternal grandmother as a child and as a woman