Saturday, February 12, 2000

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Well, Happy Birthday! I’m sending along some photos of Dan, Devon Sebastian and myself. Some are from as long ago as October, and some as recent as December. I tried to label all of them for you so you could tell who was who and what we were doing.

I really hope everyone there is doing well. It’s hard living so far away and not getting to visit with everyone. That’s one of the hazards of following your husband to the ends of the earth, I guess. At least life is never boring.

I can’t help but be grateful every day for my childhood, though. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be or a better family to have. Robert Jones and I have been writing, and it’s a great reminder of where I come from and how important it has always been to me.

The simplest, smallest things are what I hold most dear. When I think back on my childhood, I don’t reminisce about what awards I won or what projects I accomplished. No, instead I remember the small things.

I will always treasure the comfort and delight I found being the first grandkid up on a Saturday morning, while staying at your house. I loved being able to nestle up in your lap before you got dressed. That was always a real treat, and always a race against the clock. You were always one to get up before the crack of dawn and get dressed before the rest of the household ever stirred. The fluffy softness of your light orange bathrobe, and the gentle thump of your heart against my ear was enough reward to miss out on those extra few minutes of sleep.

When I am especially homesick and missing you, I think of crisp, shimmering, winter mornings where the clean mountain air is disturbed only by the heavy puffs of smoke from chimneys. The sensation of stepping through the crust of twice frozen snow still seems so fresh and natural to me. Justin, Mandy and I would bundle up and tromp over to Bobby Jones’ house so we could go sledding down the hillside at a million miles an hour.

After the wear and tear, bumps and bruises, and near frostbite, who would be waiting at the door for us, hollering at us to get our wet clothes off and have some “sense to come in and get out of the cold”? Of course, you would be there. And you’d have warm blankets, hot chocolate, and craft ideas or games for us to play.

No matter what birthdays, names, dates, or facts I forget, I will never forget the first time I saw you cry. I have never ached so badly for someone, I have never wanted to make things right so much in my life. It must have been 1982 or 1983, and it was just after Grandpa’s heart attack. You, my pillar of strength, my model in poise and grace… you were falling apart before me. It was a flash of realization that you were real, you were a person, just like me. You felt hurt and fear and love as much as anyone, and in fact, I realize now, probably more deeply and fully.

I can never tell you how much I love you, I could never find the words to explain to you just how much you’ve impacted my life; how much you’ve taught me; how much you’ve enhanced my life. If I had to name just one person I would most like to model myself after, I would name you without even a moment’s hesitation or thought. Thank you.

Thank you for giving so much of yourself to me. You shared your wisdom, your strength, your ideas and your knowledge. So many times when teaching my own children, I realize just how much I’ve learned from you and just how special you are to me. Without a doubt, I would not be the person I am today, if not for your influence. Definitely, I am a better person for knowing you.

Love Always,

Posted by Liberty at 10:14 AM

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