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The Chapters of my Grandmother's Life.

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The Chapters of my Grandmother's Life An amazing, talented completely young at heart woman who has aged with complete grace and honesty; this is my grandmother, Gloria Whelan. I have dozens of perfectly clear memories from my childhood that would not be the same without her. I have always respected, admired, and attempted to pursue the astonishing way she has woven her faith and love into every aspect of her life. My grandmother recently had her eightieth birthday and is currently living in Northern Michigan with her husband Joseph. She has enjoyed a rewarding and successful career as a children's author, and is well respected by her husband, friends, peers, and family. Her life, like many of her books, can be divided into chapters and the occasional picture that combine to paint the portrait of a truly remarkable woman. As we open the book of my grandmother's life, we see it began with a comfortable lifestyle, growing up as an only child. This was quickly catapulted into a much more meager living along with all families of America as the Great Depression struck. Her father lost everything he had, and her family was forced to move into apartment housing owned by her uncle. Everyone in her extended family had experienced a similar horrible loss and my grandmother found herself living amongst all her aunts and uncles. ...read more.


Discipline was dealt with using an authoritative parenting style; she and her husband were firm but always talked things through with their children and were very aware and responsive to their feelings. Often she found it hard to put aside fears that her parents' controlling nature left her with. She stayed home to look after her children but as she had done for many years continued volunteering her time at the Detroit Artists' Market. My grandmother had recognized her love for the arts from an early age on but was still looking for the best way to express herself, and the volunteer work gave her a creative outlook that she would later substitute with writing. The final and continuing chapter of my grandmother's life came when she discovered her passion for and talent in writing. At the age of 60, she submitted a short story she had written and received an "O'Henry Award" which is one of the highest honors a short story can receive. Shortly after writing became her life. She focuses mostly on children's chapter books with an emphasis on historical fiction. Her writing has become so much more to her than she ever imagined. Upon discovering her artistic outlet, she immediately knew it was what she loved and had been hoping to find. My grandmother not only writes for personal satisfaction but as a children's author finds her career to be rewarding in terms of sharing her gift with others as well. ...read more.


She has taught me the importance of a strong sense of self, how to value close friendships. She has shown me the wonderful support system and overall warmth family brings to one's life. Her amazing faith, which guided her through hardships and times of joy, showed me the importance of self-transcendence and the relationship I would someday like to build with God. Her steadfast and strong relationship with my grandfather has re-emphasized the importance of finding a true life partner and developing a relationship where conflict can be overcome. In her telling me about the social development and self-discovery she achieved in college I realize the importance of maximizing my college career and truly finding what I am passionate about as early in my life as I can. My father is a wonderful parent and I see how having children and watching them raise their own children can become the most rewarding experience in a person's life. I have inherited my passion for writing from my grandmother and I hope that someday I will be as skilled at using words to paint a picture is she is. The chapters of my grandmother's life have enlightened me greatly, as a quote from Anton Chekhov suggests her writing inspires me to do the same, "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." Jacqueline Whelan HOD 1001 Senior Interview 1 ...read more.

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