GRAND Magazine is proud to be one of the partners of The Week of the Family. Each year families are celebrated in Orange County, Florida. As part of the festivities, The GRANDparent of the Year Award is bestowed. Below is the winning nomination.
I nominate my grandparents Milford and Eva Lankford as Orange County Grandparents of the Year 2015
By Elizabeth Lankford
It all occurred to me the day my cousin sadly died of suicide, the heartbreak, and disastrous moment all happened so fast and there were numerous misunderstandings to what had occurred. At that time of trauma, my grandparents were there for all of my family, to offer their time, love, and condolences.
Affection, care, and support are the three main qualities my grandparents fully exhibit for my entire family. Grasping their attention with any good news you bring to them, they encourage me to be the best of my abilities and to achieve all that’s possible. Any time I feel stuck in a situation, they endeavor giving me helpful advice. When I was stuck at deciding which college I wanted to attend, they helped walk me through to be able to decide the place that what was right for me. Asking me questions like “Do they have your major?”, “Do they have opportunities for scholarships?” and they were there for me to show they wanted to see me accomplish my goals with whatever it takes.
Though they are Florida Gator fans, they fully encouraged to go to Florida State University since it has been a dream since I was an adolescent. The importance of success is to get the best grades I can attain, whenever I have reached my goals they have been there for me to commemorate me and make me feel proud.
If I don’t reach my goals, they remind me of my intelligence and help me strive to my full potential to do better next. Through life I have been involved in many extracurricular activities, branching from band to softball, basketball, and any school or church plays, they have been there every step of the way to cheer me on. My favorite experience was when I was up to bat, last inning of my final softball game of the season. The count was nerve racking, two strikes and two balls, and I had to make a quick decision that would result in either a win or loss. It was my time to put all I had into that swing, when the ball came I took all the strength I had and hit the ball to the fence, driving me around the bases to earn a triple. My grandparents were so proud they brought me flowers and it meant everything to be able to share that moment with them and see how proud they were.
From the day I was born, though every significant moment in my life, my grandparents have been there every step of the way with smiles from ear to ear. I appreciate and never take for granted the abundance of love and care they have shared with me and continue every day to make me a better person.
In 2003, two concerned mothers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty to discuss strengthening families in their community. Through their efforts, and the extraordinary help of Mayor Crotty, on October 28, 2003 Orange County’s first Week of the Family Proclamation was signed.
The idea for “Week of the Family” was born. Mayor Crotty gave his support including a place to meet, staff members and resources to help bring together what some Orange County Staff Members call “The best example of citizens getting involved in the community.” Since that time, Week of the Family celebrations have spread throughout counties in Florida and communities in several other states. Events include free festivals, concerts, family history conferences, parent seminars, service projects and other events all meant to remind families to spend time together and strengthen the relationships that matter most.