Thursday, August 06, 2009

a grateful heart

is for gratitude--at all times and in all places! Today as I think about "G" I am grateful for

God * Grandparents * Garlic * Gene pool * Gospel * Getaways * Gingerbread * Godparents * Gardens * Genealogy * Gratitude * Generosity * Geraniums * Grits * Gentle men * Giggles * Gentleness * Glee * Good news * Graduate School * Grace * Giving * Guardian angels * Grills * Gladness * Grandchildren * Goddaughters * Grooms * GIs * Generosity

Just in case you wondered, my "happy place" comes with a warm piece of gingerbread with a spoonful of chocolate sauce poured over the top. Most people think this is an odd combination, but let me tell you, if you've never tried it you don't know what you're missing. And for the ultimate in gingerbread? Nobody makes it like the Scots!

The focus of my gratitude for a "G" item today is grandparents. I had three grandmothers and two grandfathers (the third grandfather died before my parents were even married). I knew my mother's mother and step-father the best of all of them. They lived in New York City and we, or they, were an easy drive or train trip away from Connecticut. My brothers and I each had our own vacation time with my grandparents, which allowed for individual attention and great bonding. We also shared holiday visits and "just because" times together. Whether baking with my grandmother, assembling jigsaw puzzles with my grandfather, or engrossed in animated conversation with them both at the dinner table, time with them served as a marinade of the rich and simple pleasures and schoolings of life.

There were some obvious contrasts between Boppy and Bampy. She was from the south and he grew up in New Jersey. Her hair was prematurely white, his never faded from black. She was a democrat, he a republican. His voice was naturally loud (though he wasn't a "loud" person) and hers more gently quiet. Contrasts notwithstanding, they loved each other deeply and were fiercely devoted to each other. Their particular attributes and gifts complemented one another and they were a good team, seamless in their grandparenthood as they nurtured and enjoyed another generation in the family.

My grandfather and I used to enjoy joking about the things we had in common as evidence that "we must be related!" Among those bonds was writing. He sent us postcards after visits we had made to them, and he wrote prayers to be read at the family table at the holidays. He also kept a daily diary for years. Of particular value to me is a letter he wrote to the newest addition of the family when I was two days old. I can't think of a better tribute to the place he holds in my heart than to share it here. It reads:

Dear Anne:

In as much as the people in charge will only allow a few well-chosen people to have the privilege of seeing and talking with you this week, I must necessarily take this method and opportunity of saying "Hello" and "Welcome to Our World."

First, I want to say I think you planned your entry very well. When you arrive early or on time people are not always quite ready With your delayed arrival the anticipation was terrific. You handled it just right.

Then I'd like to congratulate you on your graceful debut. None of this fumbling about but a nice easy direct approach. You will always find that people will like you for that. I'm sure you have your public right in the palm of your little hand.

Another thing is that you picked your sex with remarkable discretion. I'll grant you there wasn't a wide selection to choose from but your choice was the perfect one. We have been needing you for a long time and you are just right for all of us.

And I want you to know how glad we are to have you on our team. We need a shining new quarterback to direct our plays with some new ideas and brilliant ingenuity. Being your Father's daughter these qualities I am sure you have

Also, we need the new young approach that can only come from the world of ideas where you have been.

So glad you are aboard and we'll have lots of fun together if you'll just be a little patient with us as we learn all your new tricks and plays.

Hope you are getting plenty to eat and plenty of sleep. That always helps and is needed by anyone with the name of Anne Mckinne.*

Lots of love and good wishes from your admiring, GrandPa

(*I am the seventh Anne McKinne)

God bless grandparents, and all the other wonderful G-things for which we are grateful.


Jules said...

Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man as do all your grandparents. Loved his letter to you!

karen said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read the letter from your beautiful....and so wonderful that you have that treasure!!!
You are so blessed!!!!

Jayne said...

Awww... how very sweet! Love your "G" list and I think the gingerbread with chocolate sauce sounds yummy. :c)

Deb said...

That letter from your Grandpa was wonderful. :)


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