I got to thinking about you today and I had a feeling that I wanted to write a poem about you. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a letter would be more appropriate. A poem seemed unable to express what I wanted to say.
I want you to know, without a doubt, how very much I love and cherish you. You have been, if not the biggest, then almost the biggest influence on my life. I was reading in my baby book yesterday (I found it while I was reorganizing my closet) where Mom had written that I received my first baby doll at age six months from “Grammie Parker.” And I thought, “how fitting”. I know that then, as now, you were sacrificing what little you had to bring joy and growth into my life.
I’m so glad that now my children have a “Park” in their lives to think about little things that will bring happiness to them, like a box of favorite crackers or their very own trash can. I know money can’t buy love, but you have used what little you had as an instrument to express yours. And it’s made such a difference in my life, as I know it has to the rest of your family.
I have always felt very close to you, since we are both artistically inclined, but I don’t know if I inherited what talent I have or if I was just patterning myself after you. Probably, I suspect, a little of both. I loved you and wanted to be like you. You have always been just like a Rock of Gibraltar to me, someone I could depend on and trust through anything.
You have always defended me against the world, yet you expect the best from me, and are quick to lovingly correct me when I’m wrong. As a result, I try to measure up to your expectations, because I want you to be proud of me.
I am proud to be a part of a family that I have, but never really knew – your parents. You have made them seem real and close from your sharing with me about them and I love them for raising you like they did. I am so fortunate for having a mother like Mom that I am close to, also, and I feel that you deserve the credit for that, too. You passed your values and love to her and made her the caring mother she has always been to me. She is really terrific! I couldn’t ask for anyone better in a million years.
There is one more thing I want to tell you. I pray that, God willing, you will have many more years to spend with us, But I know that some day you’ll be taken from me. I think about it sometimes and I know you do, too. Mostly, I wonder how in the world I’ll bear it, not having you around. So I thought maybe if I at least told you a little of how I feel about you, it will be easier knowing that you know. I don’t want to be guilty of waiting until it’s too late to say things. You are too precious and too special for that.
Grandmama, don’t ever feel lonely or unloved. I will love you with all my heart until the day I die. A part of you will always be in me, between what I’ve inherited naturally from you and what you’ve taught me.
My greatest hope is that when I’m an old, white headed lady, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will love me like a “Grandma Park” and will squeal with joy at the windows when they see me coming to visit. Because if I can be half the lady that you are, then their joy will be very great and sincere and their lives will be enriched and changed for the better. And I will tell them all about their Great – great – great Grandma Park.
Your granddaughter, and so proud of it,