My goal this month is to hand write a letter to someone new everyday in May. I will be dedicating each blog post to those individuals receiving letters that week. The people you will read about over the next 31 days have touched my life in ways that no blog post or letter can describe. Today, I introduce you to 3 of them….
May 1: Linda Carol
How this character arrived in my life: Linda Carol, called “Mom” by my mother, called “Grandma Linda” by me (and my best friend), called “Ga ga Lina” by the 5 year old version of me. While she’s been in my life obviously since birth, my first memory of my Grandma is visiting her when she lived in California. In the late 80’s/early 90’s she lived in California which sounded glamorous – she had a boat, she had a little glass dish on her dresser that held her jewelry, she had a fancy right hand ring that was flat and wide and looked like it had a bunch of diamonds, her furniture was nice and her house was clean, she always smelled like freshly sprayed perfume, and I always thought she was rich.
My favorite memory with this person: Every year I go shopping on Black Friday with my mom and my Grandma. Elder Beermans gives out what I call a “prank coupon” – the kind that has so many limitations on it that you couldn’t possibly find a single item that you can apply it towards. One of my favorite ongoing events with my Grandma is doing laps around Elder Beermans at 6am with coupon in hand trying to find the perfect item while my mom looks at us and shakes her head. In 2014, she not only found an item….but she gave said item to my mom for Christmas. Touche.
One word to describe this person: Gentle
What I admire about this person: My Grandma is so patient. She is patient with people, with time, with long lines, and with me when I call her every week and talk her ear off for over an hour.
Fun facts that makes me love this person so much: She’s a $20 bill and journal hoarder! She folds $20 bills into the tiniest little squares and then puts them in little hiding spots all over. She also collects journals, paper, and pens (we have this in common!) and although she has endless notebooks, she will still write important notes on the back of tiny receipts and bury them in her purse (another trait we have in common!) which makes for fun times when my mom needs those very notes to do her taxes for her. She helped me find my first house and relentlessly helped me clean it before I moved in and before/after a series of renters moved in after I moved out. She used to work in sales – selling things like furniture, carpet, etc. Her secret tactic to get someone to buy something is to rub her hand over it and tap it twice while they’re looking at it. It worked everytime. She had my mom at 16 and my mom had me at 16, therefore, our age difference is minimal and that qualifies her as a Grandma that sends text messages. She rides along with my mom every year to visit me the weekend before Thanksgiving to help me put up my Christmas tree. My home decor just feels better after my Grandma puts her magic touches on it. She visits her parents in Lexington often and she still calls them “mommy” and “daddy.” She is sensitive. She loves Lifetime movies, lighting candles, and taking baths. She loves gambling (slot machines) and always seems to be the one that wins when we go to the casino. She has a best friend named Betty who she’s been best friends with longer than I’ve been alive…and I love that. She spent the last few years babysitting my best friends daughter who she loved and would even let her tiny 3 year old hands play with her fine china set, saying it was teaching her how to be gentle with things. She loves coffee and always uses her thumb to catch the streams of coffee that run down her mug. She is a beautiful soul.
May 2: Dona Mae
How this character arrived in my life: Dona Mae, called “Mom” by my Dad, called “Grandma Dona” by me. She’s been a part of my life since the day I was born, but my earliest memories with my Grandma include going over to her house and playing games/opening gifts on holidays with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins there. There always seemed to be a lot of talking and a lot of laughter at her house. Those early memories also include a countless number of gymnastics meets of mine she would attend – buying me leotards, jackets, and all apparel alike. She was such a part of my every days and every weeks. I saw her often, we laughed a lot, and she was (and still is) always the one person who would be over-the-top excited for whatever adventure I would share with her that I had ahead.
My favorite memory with this person: A little over a year ago I bought my Grandma hearing aids. My dad and I waited for her as she got the hearing tests done, tried on the hearing aids, etc. When she came out of the booth with the hearing aids on and the lady helping her walked very far behind her and said “can you hear me” and she said “yes!” and only my dad and I knew how far away the lady was standing…it was amazing. It seemed odd that this would be my favorite memory, but in my mind it was a small way I could take care of her after she’s given me so much support, gifts, conversations, etc my whole life. The conversations that followed about how she could now hear herself pee amongst other things always makes for good memories too and show the humor I adore about her so much.
One word to describe this person: Witty
What I admire about this person: She is so strong. It’s hard describe in words, but I’ve always seen her that way. She’s the leader of our family. She’s the reason we all get together on holidays. She raised 4 kids. She’s just strong…in all ways.
Fun facts that make me love this person so much: My Grandma is one of the funniest people I know. She makes me laugh, but even better, she makes my husband laugh which fills my soul and makes me all mushy inside on many levels. She was an Executive Secretary for the majority of her career and can type faster than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life while her long nails hit the keyboard and made a little clicking sound. She always put “essentials” in the bottom drawer of her desk at work which included static guard (I now type 95 wpm and have static guard in the bottom drawer of my desk at work – we never stop wanting to be like our grandparents). She’s so good at writing poems! She writes the funniest little rhyming poems (a trait we have in common!). She loves 1950’s music. She always wears lipstick when she’s dressed up. She quit smoking in the 90’s just because I wanted her to. She loves gaudy jewelry. She sometimes cuts out little articles from the local newspaper and sends them to me in the mail – they are typically the dumbest news stories ever or about so-called “crime” in the neighborhood which is normally just someone sitting parked in a car outside of a store for 30 minutes that someone thought looked suspicious. I love those silly little articles and I love thinking about her cutting them out and putting them in an envelope and taking them to the post office just so they’ll get to me. She writes in cursive and I love that. She sends me a card for every holiday. She could sit for hours after a meal just talking. She brings humor to all of our lives!
May 3: Maria Ann
How this character arrived in my life: My first day at my first “real job” after college, I walked into the lobby and saw a beautiful girl who looked about my age…it was Maria and it was her first day too! We would learn we were the same age, it was her first “real job” too, we were both clueless of what we were supposed to be doing, and we hit it off right away. We would become friends and work together at that company for a year, I would later leave to change companies where Maria would join approximately 6 months later where we would carpool to work after I bought a house a few streets over from her.
My favorite memory with this person: Running the morning of her wedding. Maria got married not too long after we met and I was honored to be a part of her wedding. We woke up the morning of her wedding and ran a couple miles with another friend of hers who was also in the wedding. I remember the weather was perfect and we were talking about how she was getting married that day. I remember being so happy for her as I had watched the massive amount of friends and family who were pouring into town to celebrate her and her soon-to-be husband. I remember the road we ran on and how the trees seem to be enclosing us in but the sun was still shining through. I remember feeling connected to her because exercising was something we had in common and I loved that on such an important day she wanted to step away and go for a run. I also loved the fact that I wasn’t tired at the end and she can run a lot longer and faster than me….but that was secondary to the mushy stuff.
One word to describe this person: Independent
Fun facts that make me love this person so much: Maria has the prettiest smile of anyone I know. She is married to a man named Hank – I remember the day we met she said she had a boyfriend named Hank and I was in love with his name and how it sounded so masculine and strong – more importantly, I loved the way she would talk so highly of him. She is so tiny but somehow had a baby boy followed by later having twins. I have no idea how that little body did it, but she’s amazing! She takes care of herself – she loves running/working out, she eats healthy, she always dresses cute and does her hair and make up cute. She is so good at her job. She introduced me to yoga. She is an amazing writer and I’m sure there’s a book in there somewhere waiting to come out. She’s Italian….so obviously she can cook. She is so sweet that when you see her you just feel like she’d take care of you in whatever way needed.