While everyone was relaxing over the long weekend in celebration of Labor Day, I was dealing with the loss of the greatest woman to ever walk this earth, my grandmother, Sallie Simpson.

Growing up, I lived behind my grandmother’s house. I would go to her house every morning and have breakfast with her. And just let me tell you, there will never be a breakfast as delicious as the ones she made.

Another thing about Granny — that’s what I always called her — she was a woman of faith. I was convinced she had a direct line to God’s ear, and I knew she would go to heaven. When I was a little kid, every time a storm popped up, I asked my parents to take me to Granny’s house. I wanted to be close to her, so that if a tornado blew the house down, I would hitch a ride with her to meet Jesus.

During Granny’s funeral, people kept talking about how she had a hard life and that she suffered. Even though that was true, I know she wouldn’t want anyone to remember her that way. She was fearless and strong. She was funny and caring. I will remember her smile, her laugh and how safe she made everyone feel.

I’m convinced that Granny was as close to a saint as I’ll ever meet. She always spoke the truth, said what was on her mind and loved her family without limits. She made each person feel special, loved and secure. She gave her love in the form of hard work to provide for her family, and she provided a near perfect Christian example for us all to follow. I can’t thank God enough for blessing my family with such an amazing woman.

It was difficult to write this with the hurt so fresh in my heart, but I just had to. I hope that I made Granny proud, and I will continue to work hard to live up to her grand example. Cherish your loved ones, because they won’t be here forever.

Nickie Simpson is a staff writer for The Reporter. She can be reached at nickie.simpson@sandmountainreporter.com.

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