Lisa Gandy is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Central Michigan University.

My grandma raised me. She’s really fresh in my memory. I miss her because she never got to meet my kids, but I don’t feel like she’s [really] gone.

My parents had a lot of issues. Sometimes they couldn’t take care of me. [Grandma] ended up taking me in—I was pretty little, maybe not even a year and a half old. I thought she was my mom. Mom is the person who takes care of you.

It was really stable. I knew that I was always going to be with her. There were scary times; she had a heart attack when I was in fifth grade. She would pray to stick around 'til I grew up. And I would do the same. When you’re a kid, you know you’re vulnerable.

She taught me that it’s okay to be a strong woman and to work hard. And not overly depend on guys. She had a good relationship with my grandpa but she didn’t depend on him. It was an equal relationship. She would work sometimes; she would stay home sometimes.

I love my kids very much and probably spoil them. My grandma spoiled me in her own way. But at the same time, I expect them to be thankful for what they have, to be good to other people.

She would never let me treat someone else badly. But then at the same time, she loved me unconditionally. I knew if I didn't do something, she’d still love me. But I did them because I wanted to make her proud, and for myself too. That’s a good thing for kids.

If you love kids a lot, especially when they’re little, they have a lot of security. And that’s really important.