Monday, October 1, 2012

dear grandma


Dear Grandma,

Somewhere, at sometime I heard that the things that we do on earth are recorded in heaven. If that's so, if there's some angel keeping track of the things that I write on this blog maybe she could do me a favor and walk this letter over to you.

I wanted to say thank you. I guess I could have said it to you before, but by the time I realized just how significant of an impact your life was going to have on mine -the Alzheimer's had taken over, and I'm not sure you would have understood me.

First I'm going to thank you for giving me your genes. They're really good ones. It's nice not having to sweat out my life in a gym to fit into a size 4. Or 2. I'm really glad to have them, even if it does make me a member of the "Itty-Bitty-Titty Club" as you once told me we both belonged to. You were, if I remember correctly, hemming & altering my Prom dress at the time. I remember all three of us (you and my mom and I) cracking up. And then later Kemra and I laughed about it all over again. Your sense of humor was always a good one.

Really though, I pull a strength from you that you never knew you were giving me. You lived the life of an Army wife. It's a hard life to live -I know!! And you managed it with courage and grace. I will never in all my days forget how visit after visit after visit during Hubby's deployment last year you'd ask me if my baby's daddy was safe and was he home yet? Grandma, at that point you didn't know me anymore, I was just a nice girl with a cute baby that was visiting you -but the empathy for another woman whose husband was away fighting a war, was so deep in your veins -you never forgot to ask.

I wore your bracelets everyday through that deployment. On the hard days I'd look at them and tell myself "She did it. So can I. We'll get through this." Sometimes you'd look at them like they were familiar to you when we'd visit. You were always such a classy lady. You were so giving. I've got your painting, the sunset ocean one, hanging over my bed. I've got the ruby ring you gave me one Christmas. I've got the piece of fabric you gave me around the time I got married. You told me I was going to need it because I wasn't going to always have my man around to help with opening jars. (You were right too! And boy has that little scrap of fabric come in handy.)

You were a strong woman, no doubt. Your life wasn't a life of ease and luxury. It was a lot of hard work and sacrifice. A lot of disappointment and tough times. But you always seemed to keep your face to the sun -making the best of things, and laughing along the way, enjoying what was good and beautiful and being glad to have it.

I'll always remember the times we got to spend together, the sleep overs we had at your house, the ballet you took me to, pruning and picking peaches in your peach tree, painting your craft box, you trying to teach me how to sew (it was a hopeless cause, wasn't it? -at least then.), all the work you put into my formal dresses in high school, our dreams of visiting Prince Edward Island, your roses, your laugh, your whistle...

Oh Grandma, I'm going to miss you.

Say hello to Tom, and to Joe. Tell my grandpa hello, and that I look forward to meeting him one day -and tell him that I love him and that I did feel him with me the other day, I heard him. And if my other grandma is someone you happen to run into -you could tell her I love and miss her too.

God be with you 'till we meet again.

All my love,

Heather

8 comments:

angiedunn said...

so tender/beautiful. i lost my grandpa yesterday & it's a wave of grief mixed with gratitude, that i didn't quite expect. your grandma seems like a lovely lady. ♥

Jenny Lynn said...

This was so sweet and thoughtful that it brought tears to my eyes. I thought about my own grandmother who passed away from Alzheimer's.

I could really feel the love you have for her.

Aunt Merrilee said...

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I remember your Grandma so well. We first worked together all those years before she was your Grandma. I too also described her as the classiest lady I knew. She had a great sense of humor too! I remember her always asking about the baby's daddy, when we did see her. She was gracious until the end. I just finished reading your Mom's e-mail and then yours. So I am really teary eyed. But think of the reunion going on in Heaven today! We are so lucky to believe that is happening.

Aunt Merrilee said...

I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed the blog entry. You always write so well. I also love the picture of her! I can just imagine the story behind it!!

Amanda Joy {Joy in the Jumble} said...

Such a beautifully written post. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

Amy said...

I just wrote a very similar post to my own sweet Grandma. Just know that I wrote it before seeing yours. :)
Great minds think alike I guess.

Rachel Ward said...

Love you.

Cynthia said...

{Hugs} I couldn't read the post completely...the pain of loosing my grandmother to alzheimer's is to fresh. She passed away in February and it was a bitter sweet time for me and my family. Your letter to your grandmother, I am sure, is a beautiful tribute!