I realized recently that
I have become my grandma.

Grandma taught kindergarten for 30 years
And subbed until she was 80.
Everywhere we went
We ran into people
who knew her as Mrs. Heitman.
Partly because of her, I became a teacher.

Grandma was widowed in her 50s
While on a vacation in Hawaii.
She lived nearly as long as a widow
As the rest of her life all together
And she never dated again,
Claiming she’d already been married
To the love of her life.
I, too, have lost the great love of my life.

Having endured the Great Depression
And World War II
Grandma was fiercely thrifty.
She fully embraced of the philosophy
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
She saved every rubber band,
She clipped coupons
And avidly shopped the sales.
Her attic stairs were lined
With purchases for the next
Birthday, holiday, Christmas.
I have also endured great hardship
And have had to be conscientious.

Grandma was fiercely loyal
With family, friends, neighbors.
Though she liked her time alone
She was very much a social being.
Her home was always full on Christmas Eve
And every Tuesday night
Was game night with the neighbors.
She visited family and family visited her.
Grandma’s life was rich and full
As is mine.

Grandma loved to write
And kept a diary from age 13.
Her first entry mentioned
Wanting to fashion her journal after
The movie Pollyanna, which she’d just seen.
She was true to her word.
Even during the Great Depression
World War II
And losing her husband
She maintained her composure.
Many times I wish she’d have
Lost it in her diary
So we could know how she really felt.
Instead, they read like travelogs.

There is one way that Grandma and I differ.
Although I write daily
About life and love and such,
I have no poker face.
You always know
How I really feel.