Ask my grandmother who Wiz Khalifa is and she will look at you as if you had two heads. Her favorite color isn’t black or yellow. But like Wiz Khalifa her skill is considered artistic. Unlike Wiz her talents are never controversial, always beneficial and will bring a smile to everyone’s face. Yet they are both part of the tailor “taylor” gang. She goes by the name of Joan Myers, but to me she is simply known as ‘Gram.’ Her name is simple, and so is her approach on life. Putting others before herself is what she does best. Making sure my clothes fit me to perfection she makes her test. My grandmother is my very own personal tailor.
With being an achondroplasia dwarf, you are not only given a body short in stature but disproportionate when it comes to your torso and limbs. My arms/legs are considered smaller than they should be. Also, my lower back is slightly arched. This makes clothes not only hard to find but to fit. I’ve always cared about my image starting at a young age. I wanted to fit in with everyone else as closely as possible and to do that I wanted to wear the same brands and have the same style as everyone else. All of this though wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for Gram. She has always been an influential part of my life whether it came to my clothes, my education, fitting in, or being a member of Little People of America. I attended a majority of my conventions at a very early age and she was a big reason why and was there for support. She also helped my mother host a convention in New Hampshire! What stuck out most at the conventions was their clothes. Nothing seemed to fit right. Some people were wearing long shorts as pants and short sleeve shirts as long sleeve shirts. The most common problem you try to avoid is not wearing childish brands at an older age. Realistically I could still fit in OshKosh B’Gosh or Baby Gap, but at the age of 21 do I really want to be wearing that? That’s when my grandmother took an initiative. Through her own dime she bought all these expensive sewing machines, thread, needles, and classes to make sure that my clothes would fit me.
At an early age I never truly appreciated getting fitted for clothes. The process was long and boring and at a young age no one has the patience to stand in one spot for a long period of time. As I’ve gotten older my style and demand for clothes has increased, causing more stress and added pressure for an already giving grandmother. No matter the circumstance, no matter the pressure she would willing do all of this with a smile on her face. Clothes I just dropped off for shortenings would be ready and fitted to perfection before the night ended. Deadlines that seemed impossible to meet, she’s accomplished. If I wear a siblings sweatshirt or something I just bought that doesn’t fit properly my teammates will joke around and say “Grammy Myers hasn’t gotten a hold of that one yet has she.” When expectations are set, they have always been met. She’s a perfectionist, the only one I’ve ever come across.
I’m writing this post because this woman is my hero. She deserves more than a thank you or a blog post. She deserves a statue, the key to the city, to be patronized as a saint, or to sum it all up– given the world. Every day that passes I truly believe she is getting younger. Every time I visit she greets me with a warm smile, prepares me a hot meal, and than completely melts my heart. I hope to one day be half the human being she is. Whether it was learning how to ride a bike, taking swimming lessons, finding the proper drivers ed course, or allowing me to flourish at our state’s university, she has helped me every step of the way.
When the strongest person in your life begins to show signs of weakness life begins to feel too real all of a sudden. I’ve never caught Gram without a smile on her face, worn down, or tired. She has experienced every challenge life brings and has handled it with such strength. But right now my grandfather is going through a health issue that seems to have never been able to fully disappear. A combination of the long days spent at hospitals, being at his aid at home, teaching relatives how to knit, knitting warm winter clothing for the less fortunate, and the shortening of my clothes is beginning to pay a toll, and frankly you can’t blame her! You can always count on one thing though, she will never leave your side. She weathers every storm that you come across holding the umbrella for you.
Appreciate the life you’re given. Appreciate the people who are in your life, but more importantly show appreciation to the people who make your life. I have never taken my grandmother for granted. I just feel truly blessed. I feel forever indebted towards her. You can’t put a price on what she’s done for me. It’s worth more than me. She would never accept anything more than a thank you. She is the member in this family I brag about the most. She has more pride in me than I have in myself. I literally wear her heart on my sleeve. Nearly every article of clothing I have ever owned she has tailored. Every tailored clothing is done within minutes of being dropped off, but more importantly with love in every stitch. She makes me look good in so many ways. Now it’s my turn to take care of her. To be her arm to grasp on this roller-coaster of a life. Appreciate the gift of life, not clothes. I love this woman, and because of her I have it tailor made…