Love,  Thoughts

I Was Born On Her Birthday

I was born on her birthday  | www.eccentricowl.comMy dad’s mom is one of the most precious people in my life. I love my grandma Helen to death; I was born on her birthday, April 27th, and share her middle name. With every letter she writes me (and there would be more if I was more consistent in writing back), she includes a Daily Bread page (a little prayer-journal type pamphlet with a thought/verse/story for every day of each month). Her letters are sometimes hard to read, increasingly so the older she gets. I cannot imagine life without Grandma. But she recently had a slight scare at the hospital- to us, it was tense, as we live so far away now and could not drive over to see her. It was not serious, but it made me realize how old she really is.

You see, I used to think of my Grandma as ageless. She has always been old, but very active for her age. To me, she would live forever. I only realized after we got the phonecall that she’d gone to the hospital because her heart was beating funny that she is not going to live forever. She’s 86. Both of my grandpas died quite a few years younger than that. Neither reached 80. And even with that realization, I keep thinking that she won’t die for quite a few years yet. She’ll live to be 100 or older. Grandmas should live for a very long time.

I don’t know why, but I felt like sharing her most recent letter with whomever cares to read it. It might not be of much significance to you, but I can feel her love with every word she writes. I’ve always felt very special with Grandma, like I am her favorite though I doubt she has a favorite grandchild. But she makes me feel the way every grandparent should make their grandchildren feel- like no other grandchild is quite as special as them.

“To my Kristina

“My note is in a big envelope, so it won’t get lost in the mail!! Been picturing you in your new environment – wondering what you are lap-topping about? Your daddy said the pork-roast meal was good ~ maybe you’ll learn some new healthful ways to cook seafood and catfish!! The scenery there sounds beautiful – w/ the shrimp boats on the horizon and gulf coast.

“Yesterday was a reunion on Uncle D and Aunt D’s side of children and grandchildren – even great!!! I enjoyed meeting each one again. K&J B’s farm in Yelm is fascinating. She has always adored old-fashioned life. K has many Jacob sheep & a big horned ram. She has the sheep sheared- cards the wool- spins and will dye some for the rugs that she weaves on a loom.

“There are doves and a pool (as the ground is mush in places): and toward evening I saw a long row of assorted  (colored and sizes) ducks, filing up on the grass to their home- they know their home where they escape raccoons!! there is a bonfire circled area by the little lake where we sat toward evening and chatted; all kinds of chickens, lab dogs (not breeded now), herb garden, wooded shrubs, arbors of flowers of all kinds – you would enjoy her quaint farm when you come back home!

“I am feeling good now to know there’s been a pretty complete checking on heart air circulation and blood work and a cat scan on my head (forehead); as I said I had pain on left side.

“No idea what humidity there is in MS – had a day experience when my sister R took us to Chelan apple orchards where J my niece lived- dragged myself under an apple tree.

“Have to catch the mail so this note will be shorter- with lots of love.

“Grandmother Helen

P.S. Kathy gave me some skeins of grey wool and I hope to knit her a pair of slippers (secretly) as she mentioned she had never had any from her sheep!”

I love getting letters from Grandma. They are always like this, about everyday life. They’re calming to read, once I figure out what the flowing (but slightly illegible in places) script says. I especially love the letters she sends that talk of her younger years, when she and her sister lived in California and picked blackberries.

I hope that this reminds you to write to your own Grandparents. I always write by hand, never typed, as I feel it is not only more polite but shows more love to write a letter by hand, and no matter how short it is, she always loves to get letters.

I want to be like my Grandma when I’m her age. She’s the kind of woman that will walk up to a complete stranger on the bus (she has never driven or owned a car) and begin talking to them, give them a tract, and make friends. She met my grandpa this way, when they were both 25. She thought he was cute. He was not a Christian, but because of her, he came to know the Lord, and they got married. She was unable to have children, so they adopted instead. I think she would continue to adopt anyone with the need if she weren’t unable to keep up with small kids anymore.

She volunteers at Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and used to work at a home for the elderly. She called them old, when she was at least ten years older than most of the people living there.  She’s an amazing person. She’s funny (not usually on purpose), she doesn’t wear her hearing aid (asked my cousin his age, when he said “ten”, she replied “Oh, six? You’re tall for your age!”), she is constantly helping someone, making things for people, making new friends, and sending me anywhere from five to fifty dollars even though she really doesn’t have the money. She’s selfless, and one could probably count the gray in her black hair on one hand. I love her. I miss her.

Nobody could ever be like my Grandma.