Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's in the Genes

Another guest post by recurring contributor: Michael Ginsburg

On August 16 th , 2012, roughly two weeks before I left for my first year of college my grandmother passed away. The relationship I had with her ​​was unparalleled to anything I've ever had, before or since. From the weekly dinners at her house to the letters she sent me every single day at sleep away camp, my grandmother will always have a special place in my heart. Because of this, I did not only feel obligated, but also compelled to write a eulogy and speak at her funeral.

The first line read "out of all the crazy writing assignments, I have never had one quite like this. In fact, I was not even assigned to write The most difficult piece I've ever attempted; rather I gladly welcomed such a challenge." And a challenge it was. How do I capture a brief yet thorough snapshot of my grandmother and her lasting impact?

In writing this eulogy, I decided to take stories from each part of my life growing up. I started with elementary school, writing About grandparents' day. I wrote About how nervous I was for the "embarrassment that would ensue." However, after only an hour or so in, all of the kids in my class had their own abandoned grandparents and gravitated towards my grandmother, instead. Her charm was felt by all, not just me.

The next story was from my middle school days, and how she would write me every single day while I was at sleep away camp. I vividly remember receiving a letter, written in cursive hand from her-she never missed a day-many accompanied by a care package full of her famous chocolate chip cookies.

I concluded with memories from when i was in high school, and I recounted her avid attendance of all my athletic events, big and small. She knew that, simply, her presence would motivate me to succeed both on and off the court.

But what does this all mean-over three years later-why is it relevant? After rereading the things I wrote years back, I realized that quickly I was not just describing my grandmother, rather my younger sister as well.

While my grandma may have liked me a little (a lot) more than my sister, she did a much better job at imparting Lauren onto her mannerisms. I thought about how my friends, at all ages, would gravitate towards my grandma, and smiled to think that it is just same way with my sister. I thought about how my grandma would write me everyday at sleep-away camp my sister never fails to text or snapchat on a daily basis. I thought about how my grandmother in the stands always motivated me to be a better version of myself, and likewise, how I try to set a good example for my sister every day.

Lauren, as you grow up, you continue to impress me more and more. The qualities you exemplify and characteristics resonate—even correlate—perfectly with our late-grandma. You know how to brighten any gloomy day, just as she did. There's nobody I'd rather spend time with in this world. If only everybody could live life like you do, the world would be a much better place. You are mature beyond your years, and I could not be prouder to be your older brother.

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