Growing up when asked who my role model was, I would typically answer Mia Hamm (I played soccer at the time) or my grandmom. Now the only constant answer is Tirzah Glonda Marie Claiborne Counts (aka Gmom). I grew up in the same town as my grandparents. They were constant fixtures in almost any major or minor event. I like to joke that we grew up together because she exuded youth. My Grandmom would host birthdays, slumber parties and just about any other gathering she could. She was and is the life of the party (though I cringe using such a common phrase to describe her…she was the definition of that phrase). It became my goal to get her to laugh so hard she cried. I always wanted my friends to partake in the joy that consumed her when she was “tickled”. If my siblings or I were ever in trouble, she would scold us by saying “if you don’t stop, I am going to paddle your canoe” or “I am going to clean your plow.” <– I asked her often what those phrases meant, but she would always respond with a sly grin and say that she would tell me when I got older…I still don’t know. As she gracefully ages, I hear more and more stories about the fire cracker she was growing up…which just serves to shed more light on her feisty personality now. Shortly after college, I lived with her for about a year. She was my roommate. Needless to say, we share a special bond.
Therefore, I am so thrilled to be visiting this beautiful woman this weekend. Though she is recovering from an injury, I know that I will be the one constantly reminded to have joy in every experience.