I've been a bit down about people leaving the world...
It's always nice to celebrate babies entering the world. It has been one of the happy times of the summer thus far for me.
Here's a blanket I made for one of my coworkers. His little one is due on August 30th.
First, the squares. I think I made 72 of them.
Nothing is ever that neat, though. They looked more random like this.
Finished product! All folded neatly...
Now it's modeled on the table like a fashion magazine.
More bootleg modeling of the blanket!
Finally, a beautiful close-up.
You know, I really don't care to make blankets like these, as it has always been a chore over the last 19 YEARS (doesn't feel that long since I first learned) to sit and painstakingly whipstitch each square together. And nothing can be crooked, or I have to take it apart. Luckily, that didn't happen here. I also spent an hour on YouTube watching videos on how to whipstitch better, where you can't see the seams. So I am happy that this time, the experience was actually fun.
During some 7 years of graduate school, my grandmother would send me a check for $50 a month. This money was helpful, as my monthly stipend was around $1000 per month. (This was a lot in the mid-nineties. I was RICH). But Grandma's $50 check was always special.
But along with that check came a letter, usually written on paper torn from a small spiral notebook. I must admit that I some days I enjoyed those letters more than the money. Yes, they were short and random, but they reminded me that she cared and thought of me. So finding this 11-year-old post on my blog was something special, and it brought back memories....
Dearest Lisa, Hi! How are you getting along these days. Keep up the good work. Press on toward the goal. God will see you through. It's about 8:25 a.m. I ate some cereal but I am still hungry. I have a lot to do today. I was selected as Asst. Superentender (can't spell it right now) of Church School for 1996. Pray that the Lord will help me in this new job. Love you always, Mama.
That letter made me smile.
I found it while looking for my work credentials (my "police badge" of sorts for work; Thank God I found it). While looking for it, I came across the letter.
It is dated 12-6-95. I was a young 25 years old waaaaay back then.
It is on a piece of paper no bigger than an index card. The paper is fragile, and has yellowed over the years. I am doing my best not to tare it.
I was thinking about my grandmother (who I affectionately call "Mama") and the letters she sent for seven years of my graduate school chaos.
Those short letters came once a month, along with a check for $50.00 (That increased to $65.00 a month "due to inflation", she wrote.)
I liked getting that piece of change. And I made sure to use it for something that I needed, not just blow it!
But those letters!
I LOVED her letters. They were simple, a bright spot in my dark life. They didn't speak of much, sometimes what she ate for breakfast or her angst of cleaning up the "Back room". (Man, she been cleaning up that back room for the past 30 years!)
I looked forward to the letters MORE than the cash.
I remember when I'd graduated and got a job, she said "Uh, is it okay to stop sending you money?"
I said yes. I wanted to say "But could you keep sending the letters?"
But I only said "Yes, Mama."
Earlier this year, I was thinking that I wished I would've saved those letters. I always kept one or two in my wallet, but when the wallet went, so did those. Over the years I've thrown them out.
Me and my hard headedness... taking stuff like that and tossing it.
But I happen to find this one.
And I plan on guarding it with my life, treating it like the rare treasure it is...
These days, some 13 years later, I am able to help her. No I don't send her a check. We in the new age now-- I gave her a debit card. My aunt told me that, due to gas prices and food prices, she is really careful about where she goes and what she buys. So, I decided to help her. I gave her that debit card, and helped her understand pin numbers, etc... She was perplexed, but she's a smart lady- I was confident she could figure it out.
"Mama, this is for your gas and grocery. Get whatever you need, and stop picking and choosing." She said okay, but she's acting a jack. I look at the online banking for that card, and see that she won't fill up her gas tank. I spoke to her about that. She uses my card as supplementary or something weird.
"Little girl [that's what she calls me], Miss Mary give me 10 dollars to take her somewhere, and then I get my money for selling the Avon, and I use some of that, and Blah, blah, blah..."
Somebody open the window so I can throw myself out.
There's no use in arguing with her. (I've tried that, lol). I let her do what she wants to do.
I do want to ask her a question though...
Grandma, can you write me letters like you use to do so long ago?
In memory of my Grandmother, who passed away last month, I wanted to repost a few of my favorite Grandma posts... This one is titled Grandma and Me... Part 2, posted some 4 years ago.
Like I said, Grandma has been blowing up my phone. And when she does that, she is serious.
She has been wanting to go see her youngest son, my Uncle D, who has MS and is bedridden. But we are not the close knit family that most are, and it has been hard trying to figure out how to get in contact with them. I hooked up with his daughters on Facebook, and through that I could at least get some cell phone numbers. And it turns out my cousin Nicki was pregnant. I told Grandma this. I think she already knew. And we decided that when the baby came, we would go see both Uncle D and the baby.
I remember taking her to the doctor last week, and while we were sitting waiting patiently in the waiting area, she leaned over and asked "When is Nicki having that baby."
I'd been keeping up with Nicki on facebook and private chatting with her. "She is having the baby today. She is being induced."
The smile that spread across Grandma's face was priceless. She was so happy.
"You have to take me to go see her," she said.
I said "I surely will" for the fifth or sixth time.
Now we decided to go see her on the following Sunday. Interestingly, Grandma was nowhere to be found. I was the one now blowing up her phone, lol. Turns out she had been to church and had just gotten home at the time I was picking her up. I caught up with her while I was on my way over there.
And then she was a bit disturbed at the route I was taking. She didn't want to get on the freeway. She wanted to take the street way.
I put the address in my Waze app and we found the house. (And yes, we went through the whole scenario of her not remembering where the house was. Man. Thank goodness for GPS).
Once we arrived, little Mayah was asleep. But here's a pic of her while her wide awake while her Mom was getting her ready.
Here she is fast asleep when we arrived.
Grandma and I spent some time with my Uncle D. He is bedridden, but his mind is still good. I am so happy that he recognized us. But I hated seeing him the way he was. I always remember him being young and vibrant.
"How it feel to have a grandbaby, D?" I asked.
"It feels real good, Lisa," he said with a smile.
I bet it does.
And Grandma was all too happy to sit and hold her new great-grandbaby.
And she was cheesing and talking the whole time.
Little Mayah even woke up to eat.
She is such a sweet quiet baby. I told her mama that she was the same way when she was that age.
Her little feet were exposed. I LOVE baby feet!
Little baby feet are so soft and so small and so perfect.
I tell you, that was such a good good day. I thought we would just stay for an hour, but we ended up staying close to 3 hours. I am really glad Grandma had time to visit with her son and to just sit and hold the baby. And it was so good to be around family for a chance. My cousins is the same age as my brother Milk and Cookies, and just like I am with him, I will always see her as being 5 years old. Same as with her 16 year old sister. It was so much fun just sitting around with them talking and laughing.
And that is something I really needed.
By the time we left, it started raining hard. I remember me and Grandma standing in the rain looking at the place where Lucy Jr. had been wrecked. I hurried her and myself in the car and I took her home. I spent a few minutes with Uncle Tweet and another cousin, his youngest daughter K, and I went on home.
That was such a great Sunday. I needed that. And so did Grandma.
She is wearing her favorite wig in that picture. And believe it or not, the opaque picture inside the program is her on her wedding day. She was 18-years-old (She looks like she is 14 or thereabouts).
It's still so hard to believe. I usually put the funeral program of a service I've attended up on my fridge or up in my cubicle at work, but I get teary-eyed whenever I see it. So alas, I must put it away.
She was my only real tie to family of old, where my memories of being a kid in the 70s live strong. That time seems so distance, especially since my grandparents and my great-grandmother are gone. I wish I could go back to those days, if only for a moment. I feel so distant from family right now. Hopefully I will get over it and move on.
The funeral was very nice. Drama threatened on the horizon, but there was none, and that's a good thing. That's all I can hope for.
And I am SO glad that I have my blog, and that it is so old, because I have been able to go back and look at old stories and old pictures of her. I may repost some of those because I would like to have them grouped together in one place on my blog.
So know Grandma... you are gone, but not forgotten.