Today is my grandma’s 84th birthday. Though we live far from each other, I cherish our relationship a lot. We are similar in a lot of ways and I believe that is why our relationship is so strong. I do plan to call her today to wish her a happy birthday, However, I thought I would also celebrate her birthday here as well. My sister often shows her snippets of my blog and I thought I could write a letter to my grandma. Perhaps, I could tell her some things that I have never gotten around to saying during our phone calls. You see, I love my grandma very much, but I sometimes have a hard time saying things – especially out loud.
A letter to my grandma
Happy birthday! I hope you have a fantastic day and don’t forget to eat an extra cupcake for me!
I don’t really know where to really begin this letter, so I will go with my usual rambling ways. We both know that’s the way I function best. Start on one topic, shift to the next, and 2 hours later we don’t how the heck we even started talking about half of the stuff that we have. But at least we have a great time doing it. Talking to you is always the bright spot of my day. I can be having a bad day or even a good day, and you always make it that much better. Somehow, we see the world through the same lenses and it’s so easy to turn to you for advice, no matter how big or small the problem is. In this day and age when everything is digital and most answers can be found through a Google search (and admittedly I have done my share of Google searches), I know you are a wealth of knowledge that even Google can’t surpass. I truly appreciate all of the advice you have given me over the years.
When my world has been dark, you have been the light that has seen me through it. Your sense of humor is refreshing, and as you often say “If we are laughing, then we know we are alive” or something to that effect. Clearly, I need to pay a bit more attention to that sage advice you are always sharing with me. But it’s true. Laughter is the best medicine and whenever I talk to you, I get a healthy dose of it.
I will admit, that there were times when I thought our relationship wasn’t that strong. It was during those teenage years when everything was going wrong in my life. Though you were there to help lift me up, I was stubbornly ignoring the help. I wish I could go back and do it all over again, but this time listen to you and take your hand when you offered it. But as you have said time and again, “If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger”. See, I can remember some things word for word. Even though I wasn’t the best of granddaughters at that time, I feel like those words of encouragement still reached me, it just took a few years for them to really sink in.
I want to thank you so much for being there for me when I was a kid, during those unruly teenage years, and even now as an adult. I know that no matter what, I have someone who I can trust and turn to. No matter the situation, you are there for me. The things that you and grandpa did for me over the years truly had an impact. My love of gardening certainly stems from you and look how well my garden does even with a short growing season. I remember loving going to your house as a kid. You would always promise that something amazing would happen and it always did. It could be as simple as seeing a family of ducks crossing the road, and that’s all it would take for me to realize that special times were always nearby when you were involved.
Sitting at your kitchen table, while you and grandpa worked on putting up peaches for the winter is one of my favorite memories. Seeing you two put in all that hard work and knowing that there would be delicious peaches in the freezer for the months ahead always filled me with such joy. And of course, all those times when you make a delicious batch of your famous mac and cheese. Let’s not forget those times as a kid when you would take me on a walk through the park and I would complain that I was tired or didn’t want to. You would encourage me to keep going and I would drag my feet a few feet behind you and suddenly a quarter appeared on the ground! And then a nickel and the next thing you know I was very eager to keep walking. It quite literally paid to listen to you, haha.
You have also been a major part of improving my mental health. Having anxiety and depression is not easy. You remind me every time that we talk that I am a “smart, beautiful, capable young woman and that I can do anything I put my mind to”. It’s not always easy for me to see or acknowledge these things. Some days, when I look in the mirror, I don’t see that person that you speak of. Yet, hearing you say that to me does help. I know that deep down inside is the person that you see and I am working hard at bringing her to the surface. I have become a stronger person because of you.
You have even helped me sort out my recent problems and have been a sounding board for my ideas. I don’t know if I could have done what I did or even gotten through it without you there. Even though I would call you just so that I could complain about my situation, you never brushed me off. In fact, you sympathized with me and told me I was right to feel that way. You have always been there to encourage me to do the right thing, even if it’s hard or if it takes time to accomplish. And I assure you that I will see that thing through to the end, I just need to go at my own pace.
In the end, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everything you have done for me over the years has truly shaped who I am. I am so glad that there is someone else out there who is just as quirky as I am. We don’t strive for perfection because we know that’s no fun. Plus perfection is overrated. I truly wish that we lived closer so that I could visit you all of the time. It would be a blast to hang out on a regular basis drinking Turtles hot chocolate, eating salt and vinegar chips (maybe not at the same time as the hot chocolate), and ‘shooting the shit’. For now, I will cherish each and every phone call that we have. Keep on being yourself grandma, because it’s the person I love the most.