I spoke with one of my grandmothers over the weekend and was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion in the middle of our conversation. I realized in that moment how enormously blessed I am, at my age, that both of my grandmothers are still living. Grandma B. is 89 and Grandma Y. is 88. Astounding to even think about.
I have written previously about Grandma B. and how alzheimers is slowly taking her away from us. It is truly a "long goodbye," but there are still little blessings associated with that relationship. For instance, I received a birthday card this month from my aunt and inside that card was a handwritten message from Grandma B. that read, "I love you a bushel ... and a hug around the neck." I was surprised to see this message from her. It was completely unexpected. Her mind would only let her remember a part of this favorite saying, but I understood that message of love and my mind filled in the blanks. "I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck" too, Grandma.
I don't get to visit Grandma Y. very often since she lives on the other side of the country, but we talk on the phone and write letters. Yes, letters ... using pen and paper. Various family members have attempted to get Grandma online and using email, but she "won't have any of that fancy electronic stuff." The telephone is about as technologically savvy as she is willing to get. We talked across that marvel of technology for over an hour this last weekend. We talked about a little bit of everything, but my moment of illumination came when the conversation turned to grandchildren. My Grandmother has had 6 grandchildren. I have 3 granddaughters. I found myself, for the first time, talking "grandma to grandma" with my Grandmother about grandchildren. How many women get to have that conversation!
I wrote recently about my wonderful book filled birthday, but the gifts I cherish most these days are not tangible. They are the gifts of relationship. Hearing from BOTH of my grandmothers this birthday was the best gift I received, and it was made sweeter since it was not expected. I don't know how long this Blessing of Grandmothers will last, but I will never again take this blessing for granted and I will truly cherish those I've already received.