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Today I want to tell you about my Grandma.  She was an amazing woman.  I wish I would have realized just how amazing she was when she was still with us.  She has been gone for 16 years now.  When I think back over my life and the impact she has made, I am in awe of this woman.

She raised 11 children who have all become amazing adults in their own rights.  I know how hard it is to raise two children and making sure they become decent and respectable adults.  She did it with eleven.  I am not saying it was easy for her, my aunts and uncles were typical children growing up.  They all got into trouble and had their mischevious moments.

One of my favorite memories of my grandma was Sunday dinners.  My parents and I would spend the day at her house along with some other aunts, uncles, and cousins.  There were usually between 10 and 20 of us there.  All the kids would be outside playing in the sand box or at the playground across the street.  We all had to check out the bunnies they had.  On one side of the garage were dozens and dozens of cages with bunnies in them.  I always thought they were the coolest things.  Then one of the adults would holler that dinner was ready and we all had to come inside.  When we got inside we were told that it was not quite ready and to go wait in the living room.  So all the kids were corralled in the living room whining that we wanted to eat or go outside to play.  After what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a few minutes, we were all told that dinner was not as close to being done as she thought and we could all go outside to play some more.  Eventually we were told that dinner was once again ready and to come inside.  This time it really was ready.  There were piles of fried chicken, mountains of mash potatoes, and almost anything else you could think of.  It truly was a feast fit for kings.

This one particular Sunday was just like any other Sunday when a bunch of us showed up on my Grandma’s front porch.  All of us kids were outside playing when we were told dinner was ready and to come inside.  We were then corralled in the living room because it was not quite ready.  On this day, somehow I wandered out of the living room and headed towards the kitchen.  About half way through the dining room, I saw one of my uncles walk into the kitchen from the back porch holding a skinned rabbit by its hind legs. When my uncle seen me, he yelled at me to get back in the living room.  I did as I was told but not before watching my uncle place the skinned rabbit the counter as my grandma picked up a big knife.  Shortly, we were all told to go back outside to play.

It was not a conscience decision, but I would not eat chicken for years and years after that.  I don’t remember exactly how old I was that day but I was probably 8 or 9, maybe 10.   I was mortified that we were eating those cute little bunny rabbits.  Now that I am old enough to know how much it costs to feed a crowd like that, raising and eating those rabbits was a way to provide for such a large family and cut costs.  There were always a lot of mouths to feed and none of us ever went away hungry. 

My grandma was the best role model that anyone who ever knew her could have.  I don’t know how she did it but she did an exceptional job.  She raised 11 exceptional kids, was a mother-in-law who learned from past experiences, and a grandma with a heart big enough for all of us.