Daughters are especially blessed when they have good relationships with their mother and their grandmother. In this profile, Allyson describes her special bond with her grandmother.

Meet my grandmother, Mary.

What I admire most about her is…

She is one of the most exceptional people I know. When I was a kid, I used to spend my summers with her. During these summers, she would take me to visit sick relatives and we would check in with them consistently. Sometimes, we were that person’s only visitor that day, and you could tell it meant so much to them. She is also the matriarch of our family. She has hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 40+ people ever since I can remember. I cannot count the number of times she has been there for me. Every year during college, she helped me pack up one dorm room to move me into another. Even last year, she helped me pack my 50lb backpack for my hiking trip to Patagonia!

My favorite thing to do with her is…

She took me to see my very first musical, Cats, and we have shared a love for the theater ever since. We have since seen the Lion King, Wicked and numerous other Broadway shows. We often pair the visit with a great meal too!

Ways we are most similar…

We LOVE music and dancing. We both are the life of the party and will have fun with whoever is around. We are both not the best singers, but we do make a joyful noise.

Ways we are most different…

She is the definition of a strong woman. From being raised in the segregated south, to being a teacher in the NYC public school system and raising my mom to become the amazing woman that she is, nothing came easy to her. I don’t know if I could be so resilient facing so much adversity. It’s her drive and determination to “have each generation do better than the next” that makes me want to become the best version of myself that I can be.

I think our relationship is so special because…

She can always make me feel better. Being at Wharton and Wall Street (where I was previously), the pressure to always be on top of your game can be tiring and overwhelming. Being with her, none of that matters; I’m just Allyson. I can be vulnerable and talk about my fears and she will always let me know that everything will be OK. She is always there to listen to me and give me advice – literally, I can call her at 3 AM and she will act like she wasn’t sleeping. In turn, I try to always be there when she needs me as well.