My grandma is the most generous, kind, caring and brave person I know. I think she's an angel or another Mother Theresa. She gives her time to people who need her and has been through some tough things that I could never imagine being able to handle.
Clara, my grandma, was born in Italy and emigrated to the United States at a young age. Her family didn't have much money, but was always happy. She married my grandfather when she was 19 years old and became an army wife. My grandfather left her alone with her eldest to fight in WWII. Six months after he left, she received a missing in action telegram and waited bravely another four months before he was found alive and well, after escaping prison camp. I can't imagine what a hard four months those were for her, but she prayed every day to bring her husband back.
Despite my grandma's tough life, she had four very successful children. Family has always been number one on her list. She also has 13 grandchildren and great grandchildren who love her dearly.
I also admire my grandmother for her involvement in the community. She's sung at her church for weddings, funerals and mass for over 55 years. She has the most beautiful voice. She's always volunteering to help her church with activities.
For 12 years, my grandma has helped at the elementary school as a tutor and mentor. During her busy week, she's always available to watch my little brother and sister or my cousins. She and my grandfather run a little taxi business, carting all of us around whenever we need them.
No matter where we are, my grandma will go out of her way to give a stranger a compliment. She brightens so many people's lives with her presence and her gentle voice. I can't imagine living without her. She's one of the most important people in my life. I admire her for all that she's done. I only wish that I could live my life as happily as hers and touch as many people as she has. Q
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.