Grateful for my Grandmother. And you ❤️

 In Blog

As we all prepare for Thanksgiving, I wish you and your families a beautiful holiday. I’m deeply grateful for you. In the spirit of thanksgiving, I wanted to share a bit about my grandmother…

One of her repeated phrases was, “We’ve got a lot of living to do.” Even as a 95-year-old who had lived through WWII, the Depression and the untimely death of three sons, her enthusiasm for life remained refreshing as a child’s. Despite having experienced no shortage of heart crushing tragedy, her positive perspective was unwavering.

I’ve always admired Grandmother’s ability to see the glass overflowing, and wondered how she consistently met life with untainted open eyes. She attributed her strength to the ability to ‘endure’ (a word she repeated many times over many years).

“No one knows how to endure anymore. They reach for the bottle or pills. If your head is clear, you will eventually come to a conclusion, a solution. But you must endure. Even if there is pain or insecurity. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work,” she’d say.

Grandmother was a consummate Good Girl and one of the last remaining Southern Belles, living her entire life in the Garden District of New Orleans.

Always a lady, she was not one to raise her voice or use ‘bad words.’ She did occasionally use the word ‘hell,’ but always with discretion and usually followed by an apology.

One of her most frustrated moments was at 87 when she decided to try ‘the email.’ I received this one and only message:


DEAR ADELE
 
THIS IS SO COMPLICATED. I HOPE THAT UNCLE MIKE HAS THE TIME AND PATIENCE.
 
LOVE
 
GRANDMOTHER


She never Googled a thing, but encouraged me more than once to ‘Oogle it.’

Grandmother would rather write letters or garden while listening to opera than sit at a ‘computa.’ She could still be found pulling weeds or even sawing into trees in her 90s.. She may seem like a well put together southern Scarlett who lived in a fancy house, but she was one of the most down to earth and humble people I’ve ever known. She greeted everyone with warmth and referred to many as ‘darlin.’

Despite her difficulty adapting to technology, Grandmother grew and changed with the times. She told me often that “Life is a learning experience,” and I’ve witnessed her flowing with many changing tides as a graceful guru in pearls.

Beyond her charm, she lived life with steadfast gratitude.  Her usual response when asked how she felt was, “Couldn’t be betta!”  Despite many trying times where she could have complained or spiraled into depression, she endured and even thrived.  She believed life was a gift and no matter how challenging the circumstances, there was always a lesson to be learned or a greater plan taking place. 

She made the choice to see magic and made even the most mundane parts of life sparkle. I once watched her eat Starkist tuna, fresh from a can, chewing slowly with eyes closed, quietly murmuring, “Superb!”

She was my biggest support. Last year when I started Essentiel she called as soon as the product arrived and said, “I want to be your first customa.” Since then, she used my moisturizer every day and told me repeatedly that her skin felt ‘soft as silk.’

The last time I saw Grandmother was this past August. I sat at the edge of her bed just days before she passed. She told me that she was ready and ‘at peace.’ I thanked her for creating this family and for being the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, inside and out and for teaching me to think, laugh, play and LOVE.  I told her I could only hope to have her grace, but would do my best to carry on her name to inspire others in ways she’s inspired me. When I asked if there was anything I could do for her, she shook her head and assured me she was ‘doing fine.’ Then I asked her if there was any last wish I could fulfill for her in the future. She paused, looked me in the eyes and said, “Just be you and enjoy life.’

Although I wasn’t present when she took her last breath, I was told a single tear streamed down her face. I imagine angels greeted her with a superb and glorious welcome home. She is now one of them.

Days after grandmother passed, this hand written note was found in her wallet beside a picture of her father…

May your holidays be heartfelt and full! Thank you for being part of this growing community.   I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this season. Please share in the comments!

Showing 40 comments
  • Lina Santomauro
    Reply

    Just beautiful! I’m very grateful for my lovely friends, including you, you gorgeous thing!

  • Victoria
    Reply

    Elay had me stay at your grandmother’s home shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Being a Northern child that came from a home with deaf parents and very few possessions, walking into Ms. Uddo’s Garden District home took me back into a time of beauty, elegance, kindness and generosity. Ms. Uddo’s soft, lovely hands wrapped around mine welcomed me into her home with a loving kindness that I will never forget. I knew there was a woman of steel and strength inside of her but I treasured her sweetness and elegance the most in my memories of her. From time to time, I can still remember her voice.
    While I only knew her for a very short time, your tribute personifies the gifts she has passed on to you and others in your family.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing Victoria 💕 Yes, her warmth and hospitality was unlike anything I’ve known. She loved making people feel welcomed and appreciated 🙂

  • Susie
    Reply

    Adele, you have captured your Grandmother, my lovely Aunt Adele, so vividly and honestly. She was like a second mother to me. I will, along with you, and the rest of the family, miss her deeply. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and your love of my favorite Southern Belle!❤️

  • Leonie Ferriss
    Reply

    Adele, you have captured the most beautiful woman I have ever been blessed to know so wonderfully. Thank you for doing this and sharing with all of us. You are becoming much like her. What a great role model to follow. Thank you for sharing. And continue with your wonderful Essentiel by Adele; not only is this a great product but it is a legacy to your and her beauty.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Leonie, this means so much to me. Thank you very much! 💕 I can only hope to leave a legacy like hers. And I’m thrilled you’re enjoying Essentiel 🙂 xx

  • jill halpern
    Reply

    Thank you Delli, for those beautiful words and that uplifting tribute to your Grandmother. It is a wonderful way to start my day

  • Elaine Sauer
    Reply

    I love reading this story about your grandmother!! What a wonderful person and how lucky to have her as a role
    Model and champion in your life. I’m sorry for your loss. But I can tell you she and the poem have inspired me. This is a keeper. Nice legacy she built.

  • Simms Brooks
    Reply

    Profoundly moving and beautiful tribute. My Southern Belle grandmother’s response to anything senselessly modern was always the same. For example if someone came out with a new way to slice bread, with two blades instead of one, she’d say, “I never had much trouble slicing it the old way.” Or the cell phone comes out and she’s say, “I never had much trouble waiting until I got home to make a call.” I laugh when I think of using Alexa to turn on a light or the Christmas tree. I can hear Winnie saying, “I never had much trouble just flipping the light switch!” I use that philosophy now when the NEWEST thing comes out, will it serve me better? I often think, what would Winnie do. She was formidable and she still sits on my shoulder reminding me to be a lady. I adored her and all my art work and designs are a tribute to her impeccable style and taste. Cheers to our dear grandmothers everywhere!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Love these stories Simms! Beautiful and hilarious! Sometimes I think we’d all be better off without the cell phones and other technology. Winnie sounds cut from the same cloth as my grandmother haha. Yes, cheers to dear grandmothers!

  • Cindy (Christina’s mom)
    Reply

    OMG!
    Adele,
    You look so much like her. What an inspiration she was. I’m so glad you sent this to all of us.
    You asked us to say what we are thankful for:
    I am thankful that I can be a grandma to 8 amazing grandchildren. I pray I can be as inspiring to them as she was to you!
    PS-one of my grandma’s wore pearls and every time I put some on it always reminds me of her! So special! Enjoy your holidays!
    Love ❤️ Cindy

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Precious! Gotta love grandmas in pearls and their pearls of wisdom. I bet you are a huge inspiration to your grandchildren. Lucky kids! xx

  • Leah Venae
    Reply

    I had the pleasure of visiting with your Grandmother on several occasions over the last year. I am so very grateful that I got to experience this beautiful, life affirming Grande Dame! I will always remember her stories, her wisdom and positivity (no matter what life throws our way). She was a beauty, a joy and a gift!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      I love the way you describe her Leah! So true 💕 Thank you!

  • Catherine Currier
    Reply

    Glorious Grand, thank you for sharing!

  • Susan
    Reply

    Wow, you are so fortunate to have such an extraordinary Grandmother to admire. Such a touching story about her. Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy Thanksgiving 😉

  • Caroline
    Reply

    Adele, OK I never comment online ever… but I had to just tell you what a beautiful tribute this was to your grandmother. This was just so beautifully written… & what a wonderful lesson to leave behind in the letter you found. I lost my mother earlier this year and can relate to many of the feelings you shared about your grandmother… thank you for sharing these. You, too, too made a single tear come down my cheek. What a blessing and example your grandmother was to you and the rest of your family. Much love you you and Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks you for this beautiful morning read. xx

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Blessings on your sweet momma 💕 So sorry for your loss. I’m thrilled that you shed a tear (the good kind) 🙂 and remembered your dear mom. And thank you for commenting – I feel honored knowing that’s not common for you 🙂 xx

  • Patricia
    Reply

    Simply Beautiful! How Wonderful to have had such a Special person in your life ! How Wonderful that you appreciated what she had to share ! You are Very Blessed Dear Lady 💕 i’m So very happy to be part of your community! I couldn’t Love your beautiful lotion any more ! Happy Holidays and Warm Regards , Patty Stone

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Patricia this message makes me so happy! I’m so grateful for you and thrilled you love the lotion like I do 🙂 Many blessings to you and your family this holiday! xx

  • Renee Anajanette
    Reply

    Adele!

    What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful grandmother!
    I too had a (great) grandmother who was my most important
    relationship growing up. I feel your love and it makes
    me think of how blessed we both were to have such
    incredible inspiring women in our lives.
    Her beauty and grace definitely lives on
    through you:-)
    All my respect and love,
    Renée

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Yes indeed, so lucky to have great grandmothers! Such a special relationship. Thank you, love you Renee! x

  • Amy Mcfarren
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Adele. This story of your Grandmother really touched my heart. I am thankful for everyday, beautiful food we are so fortunate to have access to, my loving beautiful daughters, and amazing friends and family.
    With love,
    Amy

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Beautiful Amy! Yes, so much to be grateful for. Especially loving family and friends. And FOOD too, yes 🙂 Happy holidays to you! 💕

  • Janet
    Reply

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. You are blessed to have had her. I also had a magnificent mother, one that all my friends wanted to adopt. Thank you for sharing your grandmother with us.
    Janet

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Ah I love those moms! I’m sure I’d want to adopt her too 😉 You were lucky. Thank you Janet 💕

  • Benedicte
    Reply

    She is inspirational. I’m saving her poem to remind me on the bad days, to think about the good. 🌷 You are very lucky to have had her in your life.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Yes, that’s exactly what I’m planning with the poem! 😉 A great reminder indeed. Thank you Benedicte 💕

  • Monica
    Reply

    Thanks Adele! What a gem your Grandma was!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      She was indeed 🙂 Just like YOU. Thank you Monica! 💕

  • Rachel
    Reply

    I was so touched by your beautiful tribute to your grandmother. What an amazing woman! It made me think of my grandmother a few times and how much I miss her.

  • Jeridan Frye
    Reply

    Beautifully written and touching, such a dear blessing in your life. Thank you for sharing…very grateful!

  • Sandi Linck
    Reply

    Your grandmother was a lady of grace and intelligence. What a beautiful lady inside and out. May we all strive to ENDURE!

  • Elizabeth Samuel Hoffmann
    Reply

    Delle, I’m wiping tears as I read this and love the wonderful memories of your glorious Grandmother. I am ever blessed to have her as my remarkable Aunt “Da”. Thank you for sharing these memories and for being the magnificent person you are. She loved as she lived….Extra Large!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      The best response ever is to make someone cry! The good tears of course 🙂 Thank you Elizabeth and happy holidays! xx

  • Elizabeth Tierney
    Reply

    In love with this. Thank you.

  • LYNN
    Reply

    This is SO beautiful Adele and what a SUPERB tribute!!!! So many blessings to count:) (and what beautiful writing too…) I’m grateful for YOU!

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you dear Lynn! That means a lot to me. I’m grateful to YOU too 🙏

  • Christine Williams
    Reply

    That was beautiful. Just beautiful.

    • Adele Uddo
      Reply

      Thank you Christine! 💕

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