Bitches I hope to be like part two: My Grandma

Brenda McArthur was the type of lady that never took any shit from anyone.

This is especially important because she did it in a way that people rarely ever noticed, but I always admired.

When my grandmother wanted something done, it always got done. And do you know how she got it done?

She did it by being kind.

My grandmother was the only lady out there that could be a bitch, without acting like a bitch. Something that I’ve been trying to live up to in recent months.

She is especially important to me, because from a very young age she was the only one (at least to my knowledge) that really saw potential in me. On top of that, she made sure that everyone knew it.

The summer before she passed away stands out as the most memorable for me.

My cousins and I were sleeping over at her and my Granddad’s house for the night, and because I was angsty, and 13 I wasn’t into the whole 10pm shut down.

While I was the only one up, standing in her living room, I spent my evening with books.

I flipped through books about things that I didn’t understand, books that she had taken out from libraries on different continents but never returned, stories about love and loss. And around 2 in the morning there was my grandma standing in the doorway with tea.

She wasn’t angry, she wasn’t upset, because I think in a way, she understood.

She placed the teas on the table beside her chair and pointed to the old, worn down Sherlock Holmes book I had been reading. And do you know what she said?

“You know, that one’s my favourite.”

She then spent the next while* talking about books and told me stories both of her life and that she had read. And in that moment in time I realized what a badass bitch my grandma really was.

*I’m not actually sure how long it was, but I know now that I wish it was longer.

I remember that after a while I started to get upset.

As dumb as it sounds, from a very young age I wanted to have the ultimate story.

I wanted to create things, and see things, and live a life that would one day be worthy of being in a library with works that marked previous generations.

But I was 13, I was young, I was sad, I was lonely, and I was feeling stuck.

And she grabbed me by the shoulders and shook my back to reality and said,

“Sweetie, I know it’s hard right now. But your life is just beginning, and I know it’s gonna be a good one. Just do your best, and live a great story.”

This is something that still sticks with me, all these years later.

She lived her story through kindness, generosity, and love. When she passed there wasn’t a person that knew her that would say her story wasn’t great.

She reminded me that I don’t need some great adventure to have meaning. That I just need to try my best and be my best and my story will write itself.

There have been times where I have forgotten this advise. Some of which you may have heard or witnessed or read, but I’m writing these stories in hopes to one day have a life that is worthy of being on my grandma’s bookshelf.

And I hope that wherever she is, she’s proud. And that she knows that her old, worn down, completely stolen (from a library in London) Sherlock Holmes book is always sitting on my bookshelf.

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