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Dear Grandma

I came across some things that I had written a few years ago, June of 2010 to be exact, this is one of them. I had written this letter to my maternal grandmother many years after she had passed away. I was just missing her one night and wanted to talk to her, so I did what I usually do when that happens, I wrote to her instead.

This is my letter to grandma

Last night my husband and I went to the movies, we saw Letter to Juliet. It was a sweet, feel good movie, a chick flick, but even Adam enjoyed it. The grandmother, Claire brought me to tears many times. She reminded me so much of you. The two of you are really nothing alike, but the feelings her character brought out in me hit so close to home, so close to my heart. The genuine emotions of Claire, the endurance of her love, the sweetness of her feelings toward Sophie. I wept several times, my feelings are very tender. Oh how I miss you!

Claire was fearless, you wee so afraid of everything, I get that from you. Fear of the dark, strangers, being alone, the unknown. Claire was moving toward love, you hid from it. What happened to you? Was your marriage so bad?  Were you hurt so badly? Or were you just a child of the times who didn’t understand the intimacy between husband and wife and just shouldered the shame? Did you love grandpa? I never heard you say good things about him. Heaven knows he had his problems, the drinking probably being the thing that brought you the most shame, but did you love him? What was the example of love and marriage in your home? He died when I was 3 so I have no memory of him other than his lying in his coffin, so I have no opinions of him. You never remarried, never even considered it. you lived a good many years alone. However there was that fantasy man you talked of coming to rescue you on his motorbike when your mind was clouded and not under your control. Did you know him? Or was he just in your mind to help you through the clouds of fear and loneliness as you lost yourself a little everyday? Claire loved with her whole heart and was no nonsense, there you two are just alike. In the years you lived with us when I was a child, I received lectures about the evils of man, I received tasks to do, but mostly I knew without ever being told that I received love and unconditional safety. You have been gone almost 20 years and I’m a grandma now myself, but I feel you in my heart. I know that you protected me the best you could. I know that you didn’t approve of or understand my mother, your daughter, but you tried to step in and make sure I was ok. I know that my every sense of being alive or capable or loved or having any common sense I trace back to you.

I feel you on my shoulder many times. you sit there and say things like…..waste not, want not! I have repeated that phrase a million times and the other day heard my youngest daughter say it. It brought a smile and a tear to my eyes. To hear your words of wisdom coming from her mouth felt like you had passed on your wisdom to her even though she was born long after you were gone. It felt like a connection of the generations and I was touched. My love of quilting comes from you and crocheting too. I love the process and the product that comes from many hours of labor. But mostly it provides quiet time to reflect and remember and I feel you when I do these things.

I have been instructed to express thanksgiving for my heritage. I’ve never been able to do this because of my feelings toward mom. I always stumble when it comes to feeling gratitude for her. But I am grateful for you. I am grateful that you overcame so many fears and so many years and so much heartache to become the woman I admire and respect. To become the woman I recognize as love, safety, example, peace, homecoming. I retyped your history last year and to read of the things you remember and loved and feared only confirmed how much I love you and how much I miss you. I hope you know that. I hope you know that you will ever be a part of who I am and I hope its a part that makes you proud.

Til we meet again, I love you