Last weekend I got overwhelmed with the emotions these letters drummed up, so I had to walk away from them for the week. Yesterday, I began organizing them by occasion. They are among my most treasured possessions. They would be what I grab in case of fire or natural disaster. When I've re-read and categorized them, I will tie them with ribbon and display them in a special way in my bedroom. I like the idea of pulling out a stack based on the time of year--say Valentine's Day or Easter--and re-reading them.
I especially like the birthday cards and letters because these are the ones she dated with years. She was also particularly thoughtful about what she wrote to me on those special days, recounting who I had been in younger years and who I was becoming in the present moment.
This woman was who I confided my deepest fears and longings. If she was here now, I'd share with her how much I want my writing to be published, to make a difference in the world, to make someone else not feel so alone. I'd share with her my own sense of loneliness and adjustment to the life I didn't plan for and the one that is also providing so much new growth.
She always listened. She never downplayed or dismissed my anxieties, and in so doing, they diminished.
Today's wisdom came from a card she sent around Easter. I was in college and still making my way through the loss of a relationship that had meant the world to me:
"Our entire family knows no other way loving the Lord and following His way. That's why I know for sure along with the waiting and disappointments that have come your way, Julie, it's all working towards the reward all in T-I-M-E. Good things come to those who wait, and you are a good waiter." [All underlines are hers.]
Twenty-some years later this 41-year-old granddaughter continues to wait, and has not one clue what she's waiting for. It's sobering and adventuresome at once. It seems a bit easier to bear knowing that my grandma considered me good at this very laborious, tedious thing. And that she believed good things were in store for me. I'm going to trust her on that.