“Instead of ___, I am ___”: Elijah Smith

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak this year, instead of travelling to Tennessee and celebrating my grandmother’s life with my family, we had to attempt to get everyone on a zoom call to celebrate as a family. During Spring Break, many families go to the beach or to a lake house, but my family goes to my grandparent’s house. I have been so blessed to have the best grandparents, Mama Doris and Papa, in my life. No matter what the case, they were always there for me. They were there for countless basketball games, concerts, and when I had surgery on my foot in 7th grade, they were right there for me in the waiting room. My grandparents were soul mates. They did everything together and were madly in love with each other for almost 50 years.

On April 5, 2016, Mama Doris lost her battle against breast cancer. This date usually falls during Spring Break, so every year my family travels to Fayetteville, Tennessee to be there for my grandfather and celebrate her life. Although it took us over 45 minutes to teach Papa how to download the app and join the call, the whole experience was really a testament to how strong our family’s bond is. Even through the most challenging boundaries, we can all still find ways to connect with each other during these hard times.