The second part of this month has proved to be difficult to get through for me. My family lost an amazing woman, a person that helped raise me in my home with my parents since I was born, my grandmother.

My grandma suffered from a bleeding ulcer and went through a quadruple bypass surgery several years ago. I was still in college at the time. After that, she has been battling with her age and illness. It’s been tough for me to witness her struggle with her health, especially from a distance. At that point, I’ve been living and working in New York City, so I would only go home a couple times a year. Every visit back to Texas, I would see her at the nursing home she now lived.

Back story: my grandma always lived with us. From the time my parents were stationed in the Philippines and everywhere else till my family settled in Texas, my grandma has been along for the ride. When my dad would deploy or TDY, she was home to help my mother and I get through it. Honestly, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.

That’s why I took it particularly hard. It’s knowing that her bright shining face wouldn’t smile back at me anymore and I can’t hug her with all the love in my heart, that makes it difficult for me to handle. What gives me piece is that she is no longer suffering from her battles with pain and illness.

I flew home as soon as I could to help my parents. It was a pretty challenging week, but I was luckily with my family. Of course, when I was home, we had to go through pictures. My family LOVES to take pictures. Seriously, we probably have millions. There were a handful that I asked to take with me back to Virginia — and I have to share them!

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