Grace & Gaedene Vance: "I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. I had the chance to raise two absolutely fantastic people."
For Gaedene Vance and her daughter Grace, Columbia means a lot. Gaedene was born and raised in El Dorado Springs, and transferred to Columbia in college. Her daughter Grace was born and raised in the city.
They spoke with the Missouri on Mic team at this year's True/False Festival held in Stephen's Lake Park about their relationship to the town and each other.
Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.
Gaedene Vance: Well, I was born and raised on a farm, and when I was growing up, to me, being someone from Missouri meant warm sunshine, clean air, and earth everywhere.
Growing, producing crops, taking care of sheep and cattle and horses, and just enjoying a rural lifestyle. 4-H, all of those things — all of those wonderful pieces that are in the back of so many people's minds about their childhood.
Growing up, youngest of eight – coming to the big city of Columbia, and thinking, "Oh my gosh, I'll never find my way around this big town," and having the experience of driving past the University Hospital whenever I was first here and saying, "Wow, that's a huge building. I want to work there someday." And I did!
"She always kind of taught me and my brother to kind of believe in ourselves and not be afraid of what other people think of us and kind of do our own thing, and she's always supported us, whatever we do, and not everyone can say that about their parents."Grace Vance
And not only that, I had both of my children there, my little one pound, Grace, and my three pound Carson, were born at University Hospital. It seems my whole life has been surrounded by University Hospital.
Grace Vance: Whenever I think of Missouri, I really think of like a Midwestern kind of niceness. Just the attitude that you can only really get from people in the Midwest. They're always willing to help you. They always have amazing stories to tell.
Gaedene: But to me, being from Missouri, is about family. It is about agriculture. It is about city living, even though it's a small town, to me it's a big town still, and it's about community.
Grace: She always kind of taught me and my brother to kind of believe in ourselves and not be afraid of what other people think of us and kind of do our own thing, and she's always supported us, whatever we do, and not everyone can say that about their parents. So...
Gaedene: I really appreciate that honey. I love you.
I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. I had the chance to raise two absolutely fantastic people: Carson and Grace are my world, and I love them dearly.
And they were so tiny when they were born, so tiny, and it was a lot of concerns about. you know, surviving and all of those things when they were little – and look where we are now.