My Grandmother Changed My World

My grandmother passed away on February 16, 2013. I remember the early morning phone call, the pain in my mother’s voice, and how I cried for days. This strong, protective, loving, and inspiring woman who helped me become who I am today had gone. What she’s left me are an abundance of happy memories and life lessons that I hope to instill in my daughter.

“Never cook in a dirty kitchen.” This statement used to cause me to roll my eyes and huff and puff. It was so annoying to young me to have to clean the kitchen anytime I wanted a meal or snack. Now I can not start any kitchen activity until everything is spotless. While the meaning behind her lesson was quiet clear (cooking in a dirty kitchen is gross) it translated to other aspects of my life. To me it means, set yourself up for success because if you won’t your endeavors could come out sloppy, unorganized, and a little gross.

“I’m not going to let them starve.” My aunt had just bought a new home. They moved in but didn’t have a fridge or stove set up yet. My grandmother got up early and made tortillas, ham and eggs, beans and chorizo, our traditional Mexican fare. She loaded up the car and I got in with her. My grandmother had been told to stop driving because she was having fainting spells and we weren’t sure what was causing them. I reminded her she wasn’t supposed to be driving. She told me under no uncertain terms that we were going. They had food, but she was so determined to nourish them. I spent the 15 minute drive in fear of her fainting, but we made it. We had a lovely breakfast together and my aunt drove us back.

My grandmother taught me that day that it is possible to overcome anything when you’re passionate, determined, and extremely stubborn.

“Let’s just go to the store to look.” The millisecond I got my driver’s license my grandmother constantly asked me for rides to the store. In all honesty she hardly ever needed anything because my family worked hard to ensure she had what she needed. But that never stopped her fr

om needing to go and see what was on sale, clearance, or new. Even though she always said she was there to look we’d walk out with something in hand. 

I now repeat this statement to my husband because there’s no harm in just ‘looking.’ It opens you up to endless possibilities and prepares you for unexpected surprises.

I now look forward to adventures and surprises because it makes my soul happy.

While my grandmother is physically gone I know that she is always with me in spirit. My family jokes sometimes that we wanted to put her to rest but now that she’s our guardian angel we have her working harder than ever. We ask her to help us when we’re struggling, keep us out of harm’s way, and guide us when we don’t know which way to go. I know she wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a better person for having been loved and raised by her.

My daughter will grow up knowing her name, her legacy, and her lessons.

Jaki was a mom working in the HR field turned to stay at home mom for two years, turned back to working mom, back to stay at home mom. (Whew!) She now spends her days trying to be the best mother to her daughters, Madi (4/2017) and Gwen (5/2019), while squeezing in relationship time with her husband, Zane. Their 3 rescued pups complete the crazy family. Together they live right on the border of Austin & Pflugerville. She loves Harry Potter, sci-fi, hiking, reading, being a vegan foodie, traveling, learning more about the HR field, figuring out how to homeschool the Montessori way, and writing about her adventures. Check out her blog at


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