The Ultimate Gratitude Challenge Day 4: A Family Member

Today, I selected to write about my grandmother. Even though she passed away in 2011, my nanny was my closest friend, and the lessons she passed down to me are still very much with me today. I often claim that out of my entire adoptive family, she was the most similar to me. This woman spoke to me: my values, my likes/dislikes, and my vision.

Helen, or "Ellee" as everyone knew her, was born in Scotland in the 1920's. She married twice, her last husband was my mother's father. They met while my grandfather was serving in the army. He was a Russian Jew, and later became a well-respected dentist. Due to a noticeable age difference between my grandparents, my granda died much before my nanny. They shared a wonderful almost-48 years together, and my grandma respected his memory, carrying on and living with grace while he was gone.

Ellee was an artist. A painter, a knitter, and she even made miniature furniture for dollhouses, among her many other trades. I connected with this creative side of her, and I strongly believe my love of writing, photography, and montage creation was positively impacted by my grandma's passion for creative expression.

One of the things that my grandma introduced me to was figure skating. Figure skating, as most reading this are well aware, has been one of the most inspirational, molding passions in my life. As early as 5 years old, I curled up by the TV watching VHS tapes of competitions and Stars On Ice productions. I found a way to relate emotion to a form of art, and gained my ability to create montages with a therapeutic effect.

Among all the amazing things I've taken from my nanny, figure skating has been a huge blessing. Through all my hardships, figure skating was able to re-orient and ground me. I've been able to make sense of bad situations, to uplift myself and others when attempting to escape a state of limbo, merely by watching and creating art. Figure skating, in many ways, has been a savior for me. Without it, or my grandma, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Kathryn CoffmanComment