Dear Grandma Sharon,
I’d pull the phone closer to my ear because I knew your side of the line would be fairly quite. I’d try to pace myself at restaurants, still eating much faster than you because you liked to savor the food. I’d always get stuffed animals for birthdays, in part because I liked them, but in part- I believe- because you liked their fur.
I used to draw you pictures of my dog dewey- one I’m sure I saw on the fridge a few years back- because I remembered you telling me you wanted a cat. Dewey wasn’t a cat, but I figured a drawing of an animal was the next best thing.
Mom used to tell me stories about growing up. The fights she’d get into with her siblings, the cough drops she’d eat because she liked the taste, the surfing candidate. She made it sound like an adventure growing up in that old house of yours. And I think, for her, it was. Right passed the street corner is where my dad grew up, your two families still split back then. I like to imagine that neighborhood as it was when I grew up, but I’ve come to find that it’s much more run down now. I remember the day we helped you move: Someone finding a box of chocolates, and eating them as they worked; someone moving the couch, chairs, and tables from their normal spots. Imprints were left on the carpets, memories were lived out in that home.
As long as I’ve known you, you’ve been soft spoken and sweet. The idea of you being a single parent to four kids still surprises me, because I never really saw that “need to be the strong leader of this house” side to you. By the time I came along, all your kids were grown and moved out. You replaced your role of strong, hardworking mom with the role of grandma, with a heart of gold and a sweet disposition. But just because I didn’t witness your past, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and the idea of you being strong enough to raise four kids as a single parent, is so inspiring. Yes, you had help from your parents, but you were still considered the sole provider to your four kids, and that says so much.
I don’t think enough people give you the credit you deserve. I think sometimes your petite figure and quiet words make them question your strength, but that’s not fair. I believe that you can be strong, that you are strong, but maybe it’s nice to not have to possess so much stength anymore. I believe that you can be determined, and motivated, but you’ve been those things, and you just want peace. I believe that you have the ability to be strong and courageous, or soft spoken and calm, and just because you live out the latter, doesn’t mean you don’t possess the former.
Grandma, thank you for the wonderful job you did raising your four children. Thank you for the years of grandma-hood you have accomplished well. Thank you for the endless hugs, soft smiles, and sweet jokes you have so graciously given. Thank you for all the memories, and all the love you’ve possessed. Thank you for being so many things, to so many people throughout the years.