Ever since my granny passed, there are so many things I wished I had said and so many more questions I wished I had asked. She’ll never know just how much she gave to me just by being the woman she was. I can never say thank you for loving me, for teaching me to make candied sweet potatoes (yes, that’s important) and for living a life so hard, yet staying a loving and kind person. So even though she is gone, this is what I wished I could say.
A Letter for My Grandmother
I know you are in a better place and I’m glad for that. You sure didn’t have it easy down here on earth. So many times when I am struggling I think about you and all you went through to raise 12 kids almost completely alone living out in the woods in old rental houses. To struggle to put food on the table and clothes on all those people’s backs seems like an impossible feat, yet you did it. My mama said you never complained.
Now when I feel like whining I think about you. Somehow it gets me through. There must be a tiny bit of you in me that makes me strong. I have to believe that. Nothing I have ever been through can compare to what you did. But still pity parties come to me until I remember you.
Did you know I like to sew? It’s because of you. Did you know I love to raise a garden and dig in the dirt? That comes from you too! I’ll never forget the summers I spent just wandering about your yard and watching you tend the plants. I can remember how the red dirt smelled and how you sang as you hoed the weeds. I knew someday I’d grow a garden too. No, mine is not as fine but it makes me feel close to you.
I want you to know that you made me feel so very special, like I was your only grandchild and not one out of 45. Thank you for taking time to spend with me. Every moment spent with you is forever cherished.
Granny, we have so many things now that makes life a lot easier. It makes me wonder how you didn’t die just trying to survive. Mama told me about the homes you lived in and how most of them were nothing more than shacks. She also said she and her brothers and sisters were always clean when they went to school and even though they didn’t have anything to take for lunch, when they got off the bus you had a hot meal on the table. And to think I used to complain that I didn’t have a dishwasher!
You have made me a more grateful person. Your life has also taught me never to give up. I see my mama, my uncles and my aunts and what fine people you raised them to be. They all have very good lives and I know it is because you believed in them — you loved them.
Thank you for giving me a wonderful mama. She is so like you — strong yet gentle — frugal yet giving. Just like you she loves growing things: children, pets, wild birds and growing plants. If I can only turn out to be half the woman you and mama are, I will be so happy.
Save a place beside you up there in heaven. I have a lot more I’d like to say and boy, do I have a lot of questions!
I love you, Karen
To all my dear readers, while you have your older loved ones with you, talk to them and tell them all they mean to you. Someday it will be too late.