When my grandmother passed away almost two years ago it took my family by surprise. We were not expecting it, nor anticipating it, and my family wasn’t ready for her to leave us. She was one of my most favorite people and I miss her dearly. Last Christmas I was gifted her wedding ring, something she always said she would pass down to me. These rings that she wore on her little frail fingers, the significance of them and her desire to see me become a wife one day; they are a treasure to me. I keep them tucked away in a safe place, and I sometimes take them out admiring them and their simplicity. I think of the moment my grandpa placed them on her finger as he exchanged his vows, promising to love her until death would make them part, and the day my husband to be will place a ring on my finger making the same promises to me. I treasure these rings, and it is an honor to be trusted with their care.
A couple of weeks ago I was searching through boxes trying to find a notebook from ten years ago that holds notes I took during church that year. This particular sermon I was searching for has been on my heart for months now and I just had to find those notes. While I didn’t find the notebook, I did find something that left me in tears. A shoe-box filled with letters, cards, and words of wisdom from the people who mean the most in my life, my grandmother included. Holding those cards and letters in my hand, running my finger over the eloquently written words, tears streaming down my face I felt like we were connected again. I even had a notebook with notes that she took during church. I think I treasure those words that were written just for me just as much as I treasure those rings; maybe a little more.
I am a sucker for a hand written letter; they are the best gift that I could receive. For me receiving a handwritten letter in someone’s own handwriting connects me even deeper to them. Each word is carefully crafted. Each letter written is a gift of time, a gift of thought, and a gift of sweet care.
After going through the box of cards, letters, and words of wisdom that were carefully written just for me I came across another box. This one filled with letters that I have written. Letters I wrote during my pregnancy. I have letters that I have written to my little sister to give to her on her graduation day; letters to give to my parents on my wedding day. There was a letter that was written to my nanny that I never got to give her, and a letter written to my other grandparents. Letters that I have written to my son that I will one day give him as he reaches different milestones in the future. Letters that I have written to a man who I may or may not ever meet. These letters that are a precious reminder of time well spent. These letters that give my thoughts with handwriting that is uniquely mine. They carry the carefully crafted words gently reminding me of how precious the receivers of these letters are to me.
I still haven’t found that notebook with my church notes from ten years ago, and that sermon is still very present on my mind and on my heart. But what I did find in the process of looking for an old notebook I will deeply treasure. The handwritten words that stretch beyond time, beyond the years, and for a moment made me feel reconnected to my grandmother.