With Bette Midler’s birthday coming up, I was reminded of my personal connection to her song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” I grew up with that song, and it always reminded me of my grandma, the true epitome of beauty and grace, who always inspired me to go after my dreams. From the depths of my childhood imagination to my grandeur plans as an adult, she was always giving me her support, love and prayers either way.
With her background as an educator, my grandma taught me how to excel in the realm of academia. Through her love of ballroom dancing, she inspired me to dance competitively, yet passionately. With her big heart and compassion for others, she showed me how to embody kindness towards anyone and everyone I met.
Everyone says that distance makes the heart grow fonder. She lived in the Philippines and turned 90 this year, but her doctor prohibited her from traveling for the past few years now. Even so, the 7,000+ miles between us, assisted by phone cards and letters, never stopped her from inspiring me to be the best that I could be in all aspects of my life.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t seem fair sometimes. My grandma just passed away a few weeks ago and my heart is so heavy having to write this right now. She was also a published author, so I know that she would be proud that I am paying her tribute even in the smallest sense. My grandma has always been the wind beneath my wings, helping me fly through the highs and lows of life. Although I am sad to see her go, I must have confidence that she is in a better place, reunited with those she loved and lost. Having her as my wind was always my motivation, but now I have to create my own wind.
That said, I can still feel her looking down on me and continuing to guide me — this time, with a new set of wings.