I am kind of in awe of the fact that I haven’t written in here in so long. And I don’t have any excuses for it, really. I just haven’t quite hit my stride recently and it’s taking a toll on my motivations. But anyway, I am back. And I have something valuable to write about today.
On the importance of grandparents
After spending a significant portion of the day on Sunday with my family, including my grandmother, I was drawn back to an email I received last week. She had just returned from a 10-day trip to San Diego, and she looked totally rejuvenated and lively. It made me think about how fortunate I am to be in touch with my grandmother, and to still have her be an active part of my life (and to just be active!). I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of family in general lately, but this particular day brought me back to an email I shoved to the side last week.
A case of mistaken email identity
The email I am referring to is one I received from an old woman in Canada. An email intended for her granddaughter, who is also named Lindsay.
I received another email from her in the past with the same mistake. Apparently her granddaughter and I share the same first and middle name, and she is under the impression that this email address belongs to her granddaughter.
The first time I got the email a couple months ago, I replied and let her know the error, and told her hoped that she would figure out the correct email address so she could get in touch with her granddaughter. And I thanked her for the motivation to send my own grandmother an email.
She sent another email the next day, asking if the email address belonged to The Other Lindsay. I replied saying, no, I’m sorry. This email belongs to Lindsay Eney. I apologize for the confusion.
And then I promptly forgot about it. Until July 5.
As soon as her name showed up in my inbox, I knew what it was without reading the subject or body of the email. My Canadian non-grandmother again. What I read made me immeasurably sad.
“I do miss hearing from you.”
That sentence was the third in this email. From what I can gather, there has been some sort of falling out in this family and this poor woman is just trying to reach out to her grandchildren.
She said she keeps running the situation over and over in her head, trying to make sense of it all, of how it happened and how to bring their family back together again. “Right now, we just have to wait and see what happens.”
She told Other Lindsay about her plans to go on a cruise to Alaska with her husband. She told Other Lindsay about her grandfather’s health and rest needs, and how the cruise would be a real restful holiday for them finally.
Grandma asked Other Lindsay about her new job, her new apartment, and whether she was planning to go back to school in the fall. She asked about her brother – whether she knew where he was, how we was doing, etc.
On the surface, these are fairly normal grandmotherly questions and comments. But this situation goes so much deeper.
“Love always and always.”
That’s how she signed the email. Not just always. “Always and always.”
I don’t know what happened in this family, and I never will. I feel a bit like an intruder on a private conversation, but it is a chance “meeting” that has had a profound effect on me.
Each time this Grandma talked about how much she loves Other Lindsay; how Other Lindsay is welcome to visit “ANYTIME;” how even if she doesn’t go back to school, it’s OK, because she tried her best; or how she never hears from Other Lindsay or her brother, my heart broke a little bit more.
This woman is obviously deeply saddened by whatever has happened to tear her family apart, but her love is still absolutely unconditional for her grandchildren. I can just picture her welcoming them into her home with a huge hug and a plate of warm cookies.
I think that is so representative of many grandparents out there. We may not call them or visit them enough (or in my grandmother’s case, email, text or facebook!), but whenever we come back, they’re always thrilled to see us and express their love in a way nobody else knows how.
Grandparents are special, and I think we take that for granted sometimes. I wish I could help my Canadian non-Grandma find peace and the affection she’s looking for from her grandchildren.
But all I can do is treat my own grandmother the right way.
And encourage all of you to do the same.
Take some time in the next couple days and call your grandparents. Send them an email with an update on your life, send a text that says, “I love you, Grandma,” or heck, poke them on Facebook. Video chat if you can, or even better, take them out to lunch.
We’re only blessed with them for so long, and they deserve the receive a return on all the love they’ve given us.
To my only remaining grandparent, my beloved Nana, I hope you know how much I care for you and what you mean to our family. Love you always and always.
(And to The Other Lindsay – please, oh please… get in touch with your grandmother. She loves you and misses you very much.)