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Star of the Week: In Memory of my Grandmother

It's Gold Star Friday, which means it's time to announce our Star of the Week!

Since International Women's Day is coming up on March 8th, I thought that it would be fitting today to pay tribute to a woman who played a very important role in my life.

If today's post had a subtitle, it would be: Who inspires you the most?

The person who inspires me the most has always been my maternal grandmother. I absolutely adored my mother’s parents, who both passed away many years ago.

My grandfather came to the United States from what was then Czechoslovakia. My grandmother was Polish, but she was born in the United States, so she spoke English.

Her grandchildren (all 18 of them!) called her Baba, which means “grandmother” in several Eastern European languages.

Her married last name was Radocha, which my siblings and I couldn’t pronounce as kids, so we called her “Baba Dokie” (pronounced "Doe-key”). The name stuck, and we have never referred to her as anything else, even as adults.

As I have already mentioned, I adored my Baba Dokie. She had diabetes, and she had to have her leg amputated from the knee down when I was four years old. She didn’t leave the house much after that, but it never seemed to get her down.

She always seemed to keep busy, and I remember her spending a lot of time sewing in her kitchen. Even though it must have been so hard for her to be confined to the house, she always appeared happy to me.

I lived with my grandparents for a short time when I was in the 8th grade. They had a two-story house, so my grandmother would take her prosthetic leg off every night and crawl up the stairs to bed. I never once heard her complain. In fact, I never heard her complain about anything. Usually, she would be the one fielding complaints from other people and giving them advice!

What I loved most about my grandmother is that she treated me like a “person” even when I was just a child. She spoke to me like I was an adult, like my opinion mattered. She listened intently to what I had to say, and through her I learned what it feels like to be truly heard by someone.

I still have a card that my grandmother sent me when I went off to college in the fall of 1987. It said: “Baba thinks about you every day. Hope you are getting used to being away from home. Things at home are good. I keep sewing and doing household chores. I feel pretty good. My new leg is great. I am getting used to it in a hurry. Love, Baba.”

My grandmother could have complained. She had many reasons for being unhappy. But she took what life dealt her, and she made the most of it. My Baba died just a few months after she sent me that card, but I will always remember how positive and loving and giving she was.

My grandmother was a tremendous role model to me, and, today, I am very appreciative that she was a part of my life! It is with great joy that I posthumously honor her with the Star of the Week award!!

Your turn, dear readers! Who is it that inspires you the most? What could you do to be more like that person? Let us know in the comments!

Baba & me when I was just a few months old

Would you like to nominate yourself or someone you care about to be our next Star of the Week? To read the rules about the nomination process and get more information about the free gift that U.S. winners will receive, please click here. Then submit the Nomination Form!

All recipients of the Star of the Week award who live in the US can choose to receive a free gift from my Gold Star Award Winner collection** on Zazzle!

My very strong preference is to choose our Star of the Week from reader nominations!

I would really love to hear about the fabulous people in your life, so please send me your nominations!!

**If you click through this link and make a purchase from Zazzle, I will receive two separate commissions: one for being the designer of the product and another for referring the sale to Zazzle.

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