Another such example I found while removing the primate from my shoulders last week, is a whole collection of notes in one envelope. My mom gave me this envelope shortly after my grandmother died, now seven years ago. She was one of my best friends. I was VERY close to my grandmother. Her, my brother Matt, and me are the only redheads in the family! (Yet, at least. REALLY hoping my little niece shoots out in October with bright, red, hair!) My mom and my aunts had the task of going through all of HER cards and financial papers and keepsakes. And, in that process, she found these treasures.
The first note was from my mom:
Thank you for the many loving acts of kindness you gave Grandmama through the years. I know that you treasure each memory. Someday you will be the type of grandmother who will mail catalog paper dolls to her granddaughters…sing silly songs…talk about ancestors to let your grandchildren know who they are….and, tell them how much Jesus loves them. I am so proud of you!
MamaI love my mom so much. The way she loves Jesus. The way she listens. The way she makes you feel like the most important person in the world. It is truly because of her, that I am a follower of Christ. She has held on to him her whole life, despite the hardships she grew up in. Losing her dad at the age of twelve, being raised by a single mom who had to work! in the fifties and sixties! My mom is truly one to know. And, I'm the luckiest - I'm her daughter.
Included in the envelope was another note found in my grandmother's treasures. Well, two other notes. One, was written by my mother near my due date, which was around Thanksgiving, 1969. Yes. I finally was coaxed out of the warm, safe, belly of my mama on December 9th! I don't think my mom has ever forgiven my tardiness. Or my size...9 lbs. 6 oz. The envelope, addressed to my grandmother had specific instructions (Mama, Do not open this until I am in the Delivery Room. See ya soon. Love ya! Susan) The letter read:
I know you’ll worry about me but try not to – I’m healthy as a horse. My baby will be too. Mama, I would give anything in the world to give you a grandson, but if I do have a little girl try not to be too disappointed, after all almost 21 years ago you had a “sweet” little girl.
I am going to teach this child all the little things you taught us. For instance, yes ma’am, and no ma’am; and various sayings such as “If a job is once begun never leave it till it’s done – be the labor great or small do it well or not at all.” Well, Mama, I am doing my labor (Excuse the pun!) as well as I know how. I just wanted you to know I love you very much and I appreciate everything you’ve taught me. I’ll close now so I can see my first born as soon as I can.
Your First Born
Ps. Please don’t let anyone else read this. This is just for you.
My mom included in my envelope, a picture of her holding me. One that I will cherish as long as I live. It was just me and her then. Before my pesky brothers came along and spoiled the party. :) I'm just kidding. But, I do think about that a lot. There was that same kind of special time with all three of my girls. Before Bradyn was born, there was just me and Moey. Then, when Morgan went to Kindergarten, it was just me and Brady-Lady. Now, my sweet time during the day with Peanut. This picture makes me feel special. And, I see my resemblance to her. Some have asked me if Morgan had red hair as a baby. They think it's me and Moey! Also, in the envelope, two pics. One, of my mom and me in Grandmama's yard, and one of Morgan and me in Grandmama's yard. Nearly identical.
The other note REALLY cracked me up, and then REALLY made me cry. I'm crying right now. Just knowing that grandmama kept this note after more than 20 years because I wrote it. She loved me so much. It was really crazy how much I've been loved in my life. She, and Papa Tang, Granddaddy and Memaw, and my parents led the pack. Heck! She called me, "Lil Sug"! I mean, as an adult, she introduced me to other adults as "Lil Sug." Here's the other note:
I love you very much. I really loved staying with you. And you weren’t bad company.
Kimberley D. Roaten
Ps. Thank you for letting me wrap your presents. Kim
The letter was dated December 19, 1980. I was eleven. How funny. "And you weren't bad company." Oh, what I would give to spend the night with Granna. To listen to her say "The Lord is my Shepherd," to me at bedtime. To sing all the old hymns I had never heard. Oh, I miss her.
So, the moral of this story? Write the notes. Don't just say it. Don't just email it. Make a HARD COPY of how much you love and appreciate and cherish one another. (Cough! Charlie! Cough!) Because, when we are gone....heck, even if we are just older, reading these treasures is just that. A treasure. Nothing else on earth means anything. If you have everything you can buy, but no one to love you - no one to TELL you that they love you...what have you got?
Love to all my friends,