I'm thinking of you today, and since we can no longer speak, I've decided to write this letter, if only for myself.
This photo, taken of you on your 16th birthday in 1926, hangs in my bedroom near the bookshelves. I know this would make you happy, since you were such a lover of books and a voracious reader. I guess I never really thanked you for instilling this in me; I still have such fond memories of you taking me to the old library in our little hometown. How I wish you could see the new library, built in place of the one you so lovingly volunteered at in your later years...it has ocean views, a used book store, and a coffee cart. Three of your favorite things; you'd be in heaven. Oh...and the hospice thrift shop you once volunteered at has now grown into a big, successful store. I shop and donate there when I can, with you in my heart. You would love it also...and best yet...a See's Candy store is next door! Remember how you taught me a little about how to read the little swirls on top?
You've now been gone from us for well over fourteen years. So much has happened, and there have been so many times I've wanted to pick up the phone to share things with you. I've thought often of how hard it must have been for you to raise me after having, essentially, raised another family before I surprised you and came into your world. I realize that having a wild daughter in the sixties must have been quite a shock to you, who raised your daughters in a time altogether different. I apologize for my lack of sensitivity and wish I could tell you now that if I, at this age, still had a kid in high school, I'd probably want to go kill myself. No wonder you were so exhausted.
I feel a kindred spirit to you these days, now that I'm a happy grandmother. I remember how you loved all yours and the great delight they brought you. I am now realizing that having grandchildren is a joy that words can't share with others; you have to experience it to know. I wish you could meet your great grandchildren. Tanner is as handsome as his dad, and so well mannered and smart. Madalyne Rosemary is named for you, and I do believe she has all your spunk and spirit. When I look in her eyes, I see you there. It's double the joy for me. I plan to tell both of them as much about you as I can, to keep you alive in their hearts, as well.
There's so much more, but this is all for now. Thanks for everything, Mom; I hope our spirits cross again one day. I wish I could give you a big hug.