Friday, March 4, 2011
A Keepsake Letter
There is a story behind this card today...one of those times when the story is much bigger than the card, actually.
As most of you know, my Grandmother, Odell Gray, passed away on February 7. I had the assignment of planning her memorial service, and part of that was providing an obituary. I realized how very little I knew of this woman who had lived for almost a century...and making a few phone calls to my Mom from the funeral home didn't help with any details. I went home that day thinking sadly to myself, that we have an entire legacy lost from this era...as no one in my family could recall any details of her life. I had only been around my grandmother as a young child, and then again in the last few years, and because of her being deaf and refusing to wear a hearing aid, communication with her was very limited.
Then there was the difficulty of Mom, being confined to the nursing home for the previous three months and declining health, as well as I am sure the shock and grief upon her...well, there just wasn't much information to go on.
A few days later, I was at my Grand mom's home, and helping my Dad find some important documents and pictures, we discovered three albums of pictures, and I took them back to my Dad's. Later that evening, as I was thumbing through an old album, this letter was creased between the pages. It was a letter my Mom had given her mother in 2002. And in the letter lie all the details of this woman's life, summed up in four handwritten pages penned by her daughter...from her beginnings with my Grandad starting up a small farm in East Texas to moves they had made necessitated by hardship, and woven throughout the words were a picture of my Grand mom and her life that I had not had before.
I was able to read the letter written by my Mom at Grand mom's memorial service, all four pages without tears. At the end though, my Mom praised her Mother for all of her character qualities, and listed them all...generous, kind, a heart that was so big and yet safe to keep secrets, and a treasured friend. And I am thankful to say my Mom has been all these to me, and more , since I was at the age of six and went with my brother to live permanently with my Dad and his new bride.
Over and over again since reading this letter, I have felt God's goodness toward our family to provide this at just the right time, and have been thanking Him for that. But it has also reminded me to send a letter to a loved one along with a card...especially at birthdays or Mother's or Father's Day...because even after the memory fades and confusion sets in, those words can be a balm of healing and restoration to the soul.
This card was made with a Flourishes image given to me by a sweet friend this year. I embossed the image in white and then outlined it with a copic marker just slightly darker than the paper. I made a vellum strip with the words, "Just Because."
This will be a card containing a letter to my Mom...
thanks for stopping in today...blessings on your day!