autumn days

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dearest Grandma Elaine

Dearest Grandma Elaine,

I am writing to you with the black pen you sent so you can read my writing easier.  I really enjoyed talking with you on the telephone and hope to call you again soon.  It was nice to hear you had such fun with your children when they were young.  That helps me keep my time with my children in perspective.  It's a lot of work to have small children attached to my body day and night, yet it goes so quickly and I will surely miss this.  This time will provide me with memories to carry me through harder days, days when my children aren't so cuddly or cooperative.  These days with my young children are the good ol' days.

I've been thinking a lot lately about mothers.  I have a kitchen tile from your mother's kitchen that says "Alice's Kitchen."  It sits on my counter and reminds me of the strong line of women from which I've grown.  We've all learned so much from our mothers.  I've learned how to be a woman and a mother from my mother, who learned it from you.  You learned these things from your mother Alice, who learned it from her mother.  We've learned from our mothers details such as mannerisms, love, perseverance, joy, crafts, baking, relationships with others, and many things that cannot be named.  These are the things I want to share with my daughter.

When you get a chance, I wondered if you'd be able to record some of your stories of your mother and grandmother onto these cassettes.  I know your eyes and hands don't work as well as they once did, so hopefully it will  be easier to record these stories with your beautiful voice.  If recording on cassettes doesn't work for you, we'll find a way around it.  I would love to hear whatever stories need to be told and to be able to share them with my daughter, who will in turn share them with her daughter and granddaughter.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share these valuable stories.

I am so thankful that you are my grandmother, my mom's mom, and that you are still here to share your love and your stories.  Before long I'll be the older lady with great-grandchildren.  Time surely does fly by so quickly.  Thankfully, the older I get, the more I value and understand my parents, grandparents, those before them, and see how we are all so connected with one another.

I'm trying to talk M into letting me visit you with the kids sometime soon.  None of us knows how much time we have together and I'd love for you to meet your great-grandchildren Hannah and Liam.

I hope you are able to read my handwriting.  My hands are used to typing and not writing with a pen.  Hand written letters are a dying art, like manners, but I hear from friends that I am keeping the post office in business with my letters.  Letter writing is a skill my mother learned from you and shared with me.  And surely I am sharing the love of writing with your great-granddaughter Hannah.

Inspired by your handmade holiday gifts for us this year, we've packed mostly homemade gifts for you also: lip balm, melted crayons, jam, a scarf, and other goodies.  I have boxes of a friend's baby food jars here and would like to make candles and jam for them.  Eventually.  I have corn husks here we can use for corn husk dolls when Hannah is older.  We'll include a little turkey we made for Thanksgiving this year.

I've had a cold for a while and my head and eyes are still foggy, yet I have finally found enough energy to call you and now to write you this long letter.  I have the time to write now also, as we have a few hours of babysitting time.  I love you dearly and I send you all my love.  I hope this finds you having a lovely sunny day out of the cold.

Much love, your grateful granddaughter,

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