A Letter to My Grandma

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Dear Grandma,

You hold a special place in my heart. Even though we see each other regularly, I need to say about how much you mean to me.

You’ve been a constant presence in my life since I was little: holidays with our family’s familiar recipes, birthdays with your mother’s birthday cake recipe, Sunday afternoon board games. We have special, specific memories of just the two of us as well. That trip we took  to the East Coast is a precious memory. I wouldn’t trade early Saturdays working at farmers’ market with you for all the hours of sleep I missed. 

And with the years, our relationship has grown and matured along with our conversations. You remember the weight of pregnancy, the determination it takes to nurse, the juggle of having four children across a span of years. And I’ve found that across the years, we can relate to each other; you offer me insight and hope from the other side of those years.

Talking with you, I realize that generations of women have wrestled with expectations, both our own and those of others. Some of them are just unmet expectations that hover over the past like fog. 

For example, you were a working mom when you had expected to stay at home. Sometimes it sounds like you still wonder if it was ok to work outside the home, even when you tell me how necessary it was for your family. To take good care of your children, you worked third shift for years. I imagine you through those sleepless years, drowsily getting kids’ breakfast and getting them out the door.  

I hear the doubts you still carry about being a good enough mother, even a good enough grandmother to me. I want you to know that I’m so proud of you. As a person, a mother and a woman. 

You dared greatly in your career. You thrived in a male-dominated environment as one of the first computer programmers at a local manufacturer. I love the story of when you took a computer test and got the programmer job…when a braggart beside you failed. Even after you retired, your company begged you to come back and help them out part-time. You are the most fantastic STEM grandma.

grandma and baby boy

I love seeing you with my children at our weekly visit. It’s priceless for them to experience having a great-grandma, just as I did with your mother. They love you dearly; you’re such a good listener to all their little stories. Next week, I should bring a game so we can have some quiet!

Thank you for caring and listening to my woes and joys, my children and marriage, my work and volunteering, my friends and family. Your calm perspective is always so welcome.     

Thank you for being my grandma.

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