My grandmother always taught me to do what I do best and to be happy with my strong points and to never bottle up emotions, and being able to let it go in the best way I can. On Wednesday, November 16, 2011 my grandmother, Delories Ann Cuyler Gaither passed away. After nearly 40 years of struggling with diabetes and needing dialysis treatments for over a year, last month she was disagnosed with uterine cancer. On Monday, she slipped into unconsciousness and never recovered. She left our loving, close family peacefully, and won’t have to suffer from being tired and being poked and prodded and visiting doctor after doctor after doctor. She can finally rest, and be at ease, and be where angels must and should be —- in heaven amongst her loved ones who are long gone and with God, the one she faithfully and fearlessly served. A lot of people say they had the best grandmother, but I really did. She was the warmest, most wonderful woman I have ever known. In a world of hate she was pure love. She was my first and best friend. I talked to her everyday, and when I was home visiting I would stay with my grandparents so we would talk all night. My siblings and I always had her loving and spoiling us well into young adulthood when she could. She had the best laugh — a laugh that makes you laugh and one you would want to hear over and over again. She raised my mom and my two uncles much the same way. A true matriarch, a strong and soft spoken partner to my grandfather, she was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and moved to Covington after marrying my country boy grandpa. She was my homeroom grandmother for a few of my grades in elementary school. She would bring the class cookies and read stories to us. Her sweet and melodic voice made us happy and all of my friends envious that their grandma wasn’t as awesome as mine. She was always supportive,constantly defending the siblings and I whether we did right or wrong and and was always there when my mom had to work just to give us what we wanted or needed. After school, she made us tea cakes and home fries, cooked a mean dinner anytime, and helped us all heal after my dad was killed. She would make us feel good when we were sad or sick, never judging us when we did do something stupid. Over the past 15 years her diabetes really took a toll on her body, but that never took away from her amazing spirit. She would always respond to “how are you feeling” with “I am feeling pretty good”. Even with a cane or sometimes a walker holding her up, she never dropped her head. The perfect example of the strength of a strong black woman, or a woman, period. The day I moved into the dorms at UGA, she stood on our porch and cried because she was proud, but sad that I was leaving. Everyday I called her, when all of the confidence I had my senior year of high school was replaced with the self doubt and insecurity that freshman life at UGA brought, she was there to comfort me, and made me feel special and smart. I would cry to her, and she would just listen, and she made me feel better about it instantly. Everyday for my first three years I called her, sometimes talking for hours. After that, the everyday calls stopped, but the constant place in my mind and in my heart where she has always been was there, so I called as much as I could. When my courseload got bigger and my work load at the Georgia Center increased, and I was stressed and frustrated because my mom hated that I moved in with my boyfriend, she sympathised, while making me understand my momma’s point. When I finally graduated, she was so excited. She walked all around the Stegasaurus just to barely see me graduate. She did the same at my high school graduation. Constantly supportive and loving, she believed in me no matter what. She isn’t suffering anymore, and for that I am so thankful. My family is strong and amazing and we will make it through this. We all miss her so much and want her to be at peace where she belongs. But we miss her and loved her dearly and know that she will always be in her heart and memories. We will have to continue to live like she would want us to, and as my grandpa has said today, to live as she would through our actions and and behaviors. As most of our family has been for us, please just continue to pray and support my family through this time. We will need our amazing family and friends to be there for us. And I want to thank all of my family and friends for their kind words and support. I loved my grandma more than these words can express, and I have more memories than I have space to share. She is my angel, and when she said at my graduation party that she always would be the wind beneath my wings, I know she meant that in effervescent life and in her angelic after life. I love you so much, momma. We will miss you incredibly.