Just this year, my grandmama Gloria Cooper passed away. Only a few years before her death, she was diagnosed with alzheimer’s and from there her health quickly deteriorated. But really, we knew something was wrong much earlier. You see, my grandma was all heart. She called all of her grandchildren, “grandmama’s babies”, and we were her babies. During the day when my parents and my cousin’s parents went to work, all of the kids went to stay with grandmama. She stayed at home, while my grandpa worked constructing elevators. Taking care of a bunch of kids of varying ages and temperaments is real work, but it wasn’t always considered work. Grandmama made us breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cleaned up after us, told us stories, broke up our fights. She did everything; she worked hard. I won’t go into the details of how her illness in her later years changed her, but those who have family members impacted by alzheimer’s know how much it hurts to see them slowly lose themselves. My grandmama was much more than a grandmama, but she frequently said being with us made her happiest. My grandmama loved to care and she was good at it. While her care for us never left, she couldn’t do the things that she used to. For her that was the hardest thing. From my grandmama, I learned that taking care of family deserves just as much respect as being employed. Her grandchildren are a living testament to her legacy. When I have children and grandchildren, I hope to be just like her; a pillar in her family, a matriarch, the one who people come to when they need love. Thank you grandmama, Happy Grandparents Day.