I was chatting with a friend the other day, trying to explain how her kid would be OK because she was there to be her sounding board. We all need a sounding board. We need someone in our lives to give us perspective. All too often, we have people who tell us what we want to hear. We have people play upon our fears. We have people who hold us down. I am fortunate because I have amazing friends, including Gram's daughter, who really deserves her own post, but that's for another time. Sometimes, though, we don't need a friend. We need someone older and wiser telling us what to do (yes, I sound like Liesl).
Gram has this way of making me feel better. She is the voice of reason. When I have fears, I can go to her and talk them through. She is logical about it. She lays the facts down, even though I may already know them. She has a way of not making me feel badly about my fears. She holds my hand through it until I come to realizations on my own. She has a way of not making me feel like you are bothering her with trivial things.
Because she is who she is, she is one of the first people I want to share things with. For example, this morning Sunshine left for camp. She was the first, rather the only, person I sent a picture to of her heading out. I did it not only for reassurance that Sunshine was going to be OK, but because I knew she'd also be excited for Sunshine. Even though she's never met my kids, she loves them. She shows them she cares. She cheers them on. She virtually eats lunch with them when we think they may be eating lunch alone. She encourages them to step out of their comfort zone (and me out of mine!). She celebrates their victories. She is sad for their defeats, but not in a way that makes them feel like they are failures. My kids appreciate her because they know that someone is cheering them on, other than Mom and Dad.
Life is hard. All we can do is try to surround ourselves with people who care. People who build us up. People who don't focus on the negative. Because of a friend who is my family, I also have her mom. People are put into your life for a reason. I am so fortunate that Gram came into ours.