There have been many “gifts with death” in my life since Christopher was murdered. Meeting my husband to be (we started dating before Christopher was killed) Gary and merging our families has been the very best. I now have four daughters (three are Gary’s) and five grandchildren who range in age from 10 to 21 years.
Every two weeks we all get together for family night. The house is the same (most kid proof) and we rotate who cooks. If it is your birthday you get to choose your menu. We have been doing this for about 12 years. Gary emigrated as a young man from London, England and the thing he missed the most was having his parents around his children. We are making up for it with our grandchildren and loving every second.
This spring, my grandson invited me to his 7th-grade class for “Very Important Women in my Life Day,” where he read this piece. It was a multi-Kleenex experience and a very amazing day for me. This is why we live to make a difference. This is one of the special moments we live for. Get out your Kleenex!
“Radha” by Nate Stephens
It is spring but not yet summer and everything is in bloom. The petals of flowers cover the ground like a blanket of multi-colored snow. All of the animals are out doing their things while the spring turns to summer. When everything is warmer, people are in the trees playing, laughing, singing, dancing, or doing whatever they please. The leaves from the trees fall but are replaced by new green ones that are even fuller than before.
The sunlight filters through the gaps in the trees creating patches of sunlight or happiness.
These images remind me of my grandmother Radha who I love and care for so very much. She comforts me whenever I need it most. She has brought out the best in my grandfather, and I think that is wonderful. She has inspired me so much because her life has filled others with so much happiness and love. I love having her be my grandmother because she has made my family much better, she has touched the lives of many others and she is generous in many ways.
I sit in the dining room of my house and listen to the chatter of my mom’s side of the family. They talk about the most recent events and talk about what’s new. Radha is always the center of the talking. The clink and the clank of the forks and knives on the plates is like poetry. We eat something that she has made so carefully. We all start to remark on how good the food is. “Radha this is the best food! Where did you find the recipe for this,” I said.
“I got it out of one of the many cook books I have back at home,” she said ” I made it especially for you.”
“That’s really nice of you because I think it might be the best meal you have ever made.”
Radha does all sorts of great things for our family and that’s wonderful. When Thanksgiving happens we always have it at her house because she is generous to host the large celebration. When I am around her I feel a sense of connection with her. She has brought so much light into our family because of her good character.
She has also helped many other people through difficult times and helps people when something disastrous has happened. My grandmother and her husband have been doing many things with the food bank. They both help other people who are not as privileged as they are. My Radha goes to San Quentin to talk to the inmates there and learn their stories and help them hopefully to a brighter future. Her son was murdered by his roommate fifteen years ago. This is what sparked her to start helping other people who need someone to talk to while they are in prison. She has helped the men so much that at one point they made her a quilt with all of their names and why she has helped them. This quilt is now very special to her and it fuels her passion to help others. She has done many things for these men whose lives were destroyed by bad decisions. When she tells her story, many people are touched just like me. Her passion for helping other people is very inspiring to me. It inspires me because I think that helping other people is key to keeping this world safe and happy.
My Radha is the most generous person I know. She spends her free time during the day to help and comfort others. She always puts other people before herself. Whenever my brother and I have to stay at her house, we are always really happy because she does all sorts of things to make us feel at home, safe from the outside world, and she gives you a sense of belonging. When she walks into a room full of people, the room is immediately full of laughter and love.
I love her so much because my life would never be the same without her. Her love to help others is like no other. When people look at her, they see a happy bright figure always happy to improve this world in some way. The passions for her family are so strong that when she does something fantastic, we all just put our hands together and clap.