Originally posted at Blogger in May 2012

In February of 2009 my Grandma turned 95. I decided she deserved a letter from me for this wonderful life event. An opportunity to tell her what I remembered growing up with her in my life. This year she turned 98. I’m not sure any of us thought this possible that she would outlive her husband, her children, and so many others along her life journey.

February 12, 2009

Dear Grandma,

On the occasion of your 95th birthday, I am so grateful to have been able to share my almost 49 years as your Granddaughter. So many memories along this journey. The comfort and joy of coming to your green house on the corner with the big square lot, where I could play and be loved.

The big tree that used to be out front keeping guard and the trellis that always just seemed to be there. It just doesn’t seem right not to walk under it to gain entry to home. When we park in the driveway and walk across the yard I almost want to take the long way round just to walk through the trellis.

I remember when the storm took down the apple tree out back and how mad I was about the whole thing. I remember watching old King in his pen or is it just a memory from you and Mom talking about him. The cemetery in your garden for my dog Fluffy and turtle Nancy to rest in peace, and knowing you were tending to the flowers above their resting place. I can still see the smile on Grandpa’s face when he told me to look under the chair where there were two scared eyes looking back at me. My little Fluffy. What a wonderful gift for a little girl.

How special I felt when I got to come and “live” with you and Grandpa, when Mom broke her hip and then again when Aaron was born. I had you all to myself. I remember my bed in the sewing room with old Abe Lincoln keeping watch over me. I remember eating cooled peeled apples, and watching Red Skelton and Lawrence Welk. Lots of giggles and laughs. I remember you making me gargle each morning with Listerine before heading off to school. And when you scared me reciting, Little Orhant Annie. Each and every memory held close in my heart.

Then excitement with all the trips we made to Indiana. You and Aaron watching for the Red Barns and shopping at Gobbler’s Knob and being with Mama, all of us together. The bus trip with me and Theresa, all the way to South Dakota to see Aunt Edith and Uncle Ez. What an experience for a 14-year-old girl. You and Aunt Edith making sure we had a good time. Taking us to the creek to get wet, to be sure we didn’t go to Evan’s Plunge. You two didn’t just say no, you took the time to give us another adventure. Thank you for sharing that with us, I know that bus almost did you in and so we had another wonderful memory for me and Theresa, our very first plane ride to get back home. That wasn’t supposed to happen but that bus almost got the best of you so away we flew, and so did my heart, with new-found joy of flying through the air. I had another new memory to tuck into my heart.

I cannot express the joy I felt each time a special gift was given. First and foremost is your gift of love and your acceptance of my love back to you. My very first pair of diamond earrings, the Christmas that we all got the quilts and then when you gave me Mama’s figurine planter. My heart is warmed with the gifts you have given over the years.

And certainly not my last memory but a precious one, the moment you, and Grandpa shared with me just before I married, giving me Mama’s ring to wear. Tying us all together that day with Mama looking down on me as my new husband professed his love.

So many good times, but sorrow as well, when first we lost Grandpa, and then so many others. We must take the bitter with the sweet. I hold those times close too with a deepness that keeps my heart weighted down.

So many precious times spent with you. Thank you Grandma for my almost 49 years of your 95 years. Happy birthday, I love you.

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About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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