Friday, September 05, 2008
I am fortunate to still have both my biological grandmas.
The crazy thing about my mother's mother, my grandma, is that I am 36 years old and we have NEVER MET. She lives in Iowa to this day, and although her letter states she has no intentions of staying in Iowa, 21 years later, she's still there. The letter that I am going to blog from her is dated February 24, 1987- more than 21 years ago...
At the time I was:
- 14 years old, 5 days from my 15th birthday
- skinny with long hair
- just went to a Valentine's dance with a friend.
- I wouldn't meet my hubby for the first time for 5 more months
- This letter seems to be a response from a letter I wrote her
- Grandma was almost 60 years old (add 21 more years, now!)
- Remember, we've never met
- I've talked to her on the phone TWICE in my life.
It's crazy to see her wisdom in the letter, as I have already lived out some of her advice. I met my hubby, whom I deemed was "worth it", less than 5 months after she wrote this letter. I learned to crochet less than 2 years later, while pregnant with my first son 16 years old. But, still, I see so much of me in the woman I have never met. Maybe it's genetics that makes us so similar in light that we've never been in the same room.
She seems wise with experience, but, bitter at the results.
Ironic, as I am losing weight these days, that she would include that issue.
Anyway, here is her letter.
It fell out of my "things" recently while I was going through them.
I forgot this letter existed...so...it's like reading it for the first time, 21 years later.
Reap some wisdom, grandma to granddaughter.
Dear Rikki, February 24, 1987
I received your letter today and really enjoyed it because it was nice and long and newsy.
Sounds like you had an enjoyable Valentine's Day @ Indio. Holidays seem to come and go without having much meaning to me anymore-- one day is about the same as the other.
Sounds like you like to dance; I always did too-- but I married men who instead of taking me dancing, did what they could to make me miserable. I have no interest in meeting men---to try to find out if by some strange chance there might be one worth having. Besides that, Sioux City isn't exactly the kind of place anymore that a single female much cares to chance being out alone. If they dropped a bomb and blew the midwest off the face of the map, I think they would be doing the world a favor.
It's quite pretty weather here, too-- and I believe that big storm is going to miss us again; this will be the 7th storm that has detoured around us so we have had barely any snow or harsh weather this year.
You should learn how to crochet--it's rewarding in its own way and simple to learn.
Broaden your interests while you are young and then expand on what you like best; I wish that someone had given me that good advice-- my life could have been (and should have been) much happier. Youth too often supposes there is more to be had out there in the big wide world-- but mostly what is really out there are people who want to use people and lead them astray. Of all the thousands of people I've met and in some cases, loved, I doubt that there are two dozen whom I'd care to ever meet or know again; I wish I could give a better report than that-- but, truth is truth.
I could have done such beautiful things with my life had I had sense enough to put ME first; it took me nearly 60 years to learn that-- the hard way, too. I hope you will be smarter than was I...though believe me, there's nothing simple about being smart enought to always know what is best for one's self. We do the best we can-- and then if we make an error, at least we have that virtue to fall back on to support us. Be careful about temptations, Rikki-- Let them go on without you and you will be thankful all of your life that you did; Always choose right over wrong. This is no lecture-- it's good advice from one who wants your life to be filled with happiness.
I don't know what your birthstone is-- but, I was going to send you a ring for your birthday, but, was afraid it might get damaged in the letter mailing process. I've decided all gemstones are my birthstones because-- who was it that said certain stones apply to certain months? I doubt that it was God. If you like what they say is the Feb. birthstone--fine--but you can choose whatever you like best.
If some people say you are skinny-- I doubt that you are overweight. If you feel good, that is more important than the scale and charts.
You said they are "lucky" to be 18; Take your time to smell the roses along the way-- you'll age soon enough, and, if like most, wish you were younger again.
I didn't know your hair was so long-- I bet it's really beautiful!
I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I really enjoyed it, too.
They started calling me "Claire", my middle name, at school because there were too many students named "Mary".
Love, Your Grandma, Claire.
Here I am, 36 years old...I know what she means that one day rolls into another. I read the weightloss comment LOUD AND CLEAR (although my problem then was that I was too skinny). I understand about expanding on what you like best and putting yourself first. I don't want to say things "could have been" better...
I need to lead a life with no regrets.
...and she is right. I wish I was younger, now.
She appears to be a pessimistic person. I don't know about that bomb comment, but...I'm reaping from the letter.
It's all in there.
I think I need to take better care of this letter.
So, there you have it. Words of wisdom from one who was almost 60, now 80 years old.