Today’s post is one that is really special to me. Actually, it’s one that has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time… I could just never get myself to share it.
May is a month that I have struggled with the past few years, solely because it is the month that my sweet grandma passed away 2 years ago. Sometimes it is hard to handle the emotions, especially when it is getting close to the time she passed away. In honor of my grandma, I want to share some important lessons I learned from her.
BE STRONG AND INDEPENDENT. When I was in elementary school – all the way up until I got a car in high school – my grandma would drive me to school, pick me up, and take me to all my activities. This gave us a lot of time to talk. When she would pick me up from school I would tell her all about my day. I remember one time in specific when she picked me up I was crying. I had gotten in a fight with my best friend at school in 3rd grade (yes – 3rd grade). I was feeling bad about the situation, but I remember my grandma telling me that I shouldn’t let anyone, besides myself, be in control of my happiness.
Fast forward to college, boys and dating. A few weeks before her passing, I had a conversation I will never forget with my grandma. She told me how important it is to be able to take care of yourself and to NEVER rely on a man. What really stuck with me from that conversation, though, was when she told me to never let a man talk down to you and make you feel like any less than you are. Stand up for yourself. Be strong and be independent. Hearing these words from someone I respected so much was really eye opening to me.
LOVE YOUR FAMILY. Growing up in a house full of girls is no joke. And while I love all my sisters to death, we would often get in little arguments when we were younger. Every single time we would argue, my grandma would be there to try and diffuse it. I can still hear her saying, “You guys need to get along, because one day you are going to look back and regret every argument you’ve had.” She always wanted everyone to get along and love each other.
BE GRATEFUL. My grandma taught me no matter what, there is always something to be grateful for. Always remember that as bad as you think you have it, someone always has it worse. When my grandma got sick, I never once heard her complain or be upset about it. Instead she was always optimistic and happy for what she had – family.
THE MEANING BEHIND SINCERELY, HALES. A few weeks before my grandma’s passing, I was talking to her about wanting to start a fashion blog. I told her about my ideas and what exactly a “fashion blog” was. I also told her some blog names I had in mind (I originally bought the domain blushingblonde.com), but I was really struggling to find one that I liked – one that was actually meaningful. I asked her if she had any ideas… It didn’t take long for her to come up with the name Sincerely, Hales and here’s why…
When I was little, I loved writing letters. I thought it was so cool to put something in an envelope and give it away. I remember during one summer break I would wake up and print out these pictures from the internet, color them, and then write my grandma a note – signing it with “Sincerely, Hales”. I would stuff it all in an envelope and “secretly” deliver it to her.
I never thought it would be that significant, but it was something that my grandma remembered and was special to her… and now it is so special to me. My blog is a place that I am able to pursue my dreams, and because I named it “Sincerely, Hales” I feel like my grandma gets to be a part of that.
“As I sit in heaven and watch you everyday,
I try to let you know, with signs, I never went away.
I hear you when you’re laughing, and watch you as you sleep,
I even place my arms around you, to calm you as you weep.
I see you wish the days away, begging to have me home,
So I try to send you signs, so you know you’re not alone.
Don’t feel guilty that you have life, that was denied to me.
Heaven is truly beautiful, just you wait and see.
So live your life, laugh again, enjoy yourself, be free.
Then I know, with every breath you take,
You’ll be taking one for me.”
I love and miss you daily grandma!