Two years ago this afternoon, my Grandma Blanc passed away.

Josephine was 94 years old when she died. My 98-year-old grandpa, Louie, was there by her side, grieving at the loss of his life-long love, but deeply grateful that he was able to be with her all the way to the end.

Her funeral was a few days later. Over 200 people came from our small town of Castle Rock, Colorado to celebrate, laugh, and cry with us as we shared stories about my grandmother.

When Josephine was just 11 years old, her mom died giving birth to her younger sister. Four years later her father left them during the great depression, leaving my 15-year-old grandmother to take care of all her siblings. She always said it was the power of positive thinking and prayer that kept her going; she took charge and never looked back — raising a legacy and a very tight-nit family.

At the funeral, as we read through her memoirs, we came across her “values” — the things she tried to live by. They were short phrases: Be the first to say hello; Compliment three people every day; Live beneath your means; Let the first thing you say brighten everyone’s day; Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today; Always think the best of other people.

As I heard them, I realized just how much her prayers and her positive thinking really had influenced and affected our entire family. She was an amazing woman.