There's a lot of things that inspire people. Music, art, nature, history, movies, being in programs such as the one I'm in... Although a lot of the aforementioned things inspire me, most of my inspiration came from my grandmother, Yvonne.
My grandma was always such an amazing woman. She was born in France in 1929. When she was ten, World War II started and she had to relocate. Having to persevere in such a difficult time, she helped her family get through such an intense time, emotionally.
Over 60 years ago, young and seven months pregnant, my grandmother and grandfather travelled - by boat! - to come to the United States, after my great aunt convinced them to come. It must have taken so much to come to a country where she didn't know the culture or the language. Not only that, but they didn't have much coming here.
They both worked hard to persevere, once again. With a family to support, they had to work for a better life, not only for themselves, but for their children as well. My grandfather took on several odd jobs before coming to live in Michigan permanently. My grandmother also went to school at Michigan State University for her teaching degree after they did. She taught French. It was something she was passionate about; to teach her culture and maternal language to high school students was something she enjoyed.
It wasn't just all of that, though, with which she inspired me, although that, in and of itself, is a great deal to inspire someone to do everything they can to do their best. My grandmother was always so passionate, so kind and caring. She always had that joie de vivre, always enjoying her life and her family. But most of all, it was her love and patience with me, with all her children and grandchildren that were blessed to have been touched by her. Until she wasn't healthy enough to, with each new member of the family, she made a new stocking for them. She immensely enjoyed having company over and cooking for them, whether they were friends or family - or if it so happened, she cooked for both.
This amazing and beautiful woman was just as much of a mother to me as her daughter, my mom. My grandmother took care of us just as much as my mom did. Babysitting us when we were young, coming over for birthdays, cooking for us whenever we went to her house - sometimes even cooking for us with my mom when she came over - spending time with us over holidays. She was such a prominent figure in my life.
My grandmother instilled a powerful thing in me. It's love and a strong sense of a familial bond. It's being passionate about life, about anything you do. It's being able to touch someone in such a positive way. It's never giving up, even when giving up would be so much easier to do.
I love my friends and family to the ends of the earth, the kind of love my grandmother had for her family. Despite having some issues with my family, family always comes first, no matter what - just like it did for my grandmother. I'm always passionate about what I love, about my life and about anything I set my mind to do. I try to be a positive influence on someone's life, no matter how mean or nasty someone is. Even though I've wanted to go home and leave this program a few times in the past seven months, I didn't give up. I stuck with it because I know that doing otherwise was something my grandmother would never allow. She wouldn't have been happy with it, even if she did respect my decision to leave.
Honestly, I don't think I would have been the same person I am today if she weren't ever a part of my life. She has always been so influential and positive. And for that, I will always love her.
She'll forever be in my heart. I am proud to be her granddaughter, and I'm going to wake up every day, always trying to live the life she would be proud of.