- Journaling is an art that should never die. It provides your legacy with an honest glimpse into your soul.
- Eating healthy and exercising do not dictate a long life, just as smoking and years of sunbathing do not mean it will be short.
- Even when our minds have forgotten the faces of our loved ones, the site of a child still brings joy to our eyes.
- A woman is never too old for nail polish.
- I should have asked more questions.
When I met you, I misjudged you. I saw an elderly woman with a strong personality. I saw a woman who smoked and drove a car at 90 years old. I knew you loved cats and feeding peacocks, but I didn’t push beyond that. Maybe we, as a younger generation, are so consumed with ourselves, we have forgotten the legacy from which we came. I did not understand the courage and perseverance behind your choices…because I never really thought about your choices. I failed to see the woman who had lived an extraordinary life.
I just didn’t know until that day we found your boxes of journals, love letters, and newspaper clippings the passions of your heart. You traveled the world. You were a writer. A political activist. An artist. A lover. You were a passionate reader. You rocked a bikini. You were one of “The 3 Drips”, a name referring to your proclivity to being wet at the beach. I am sorry I didn’t know. You were beautiful. You are beautiful!
I wish you could have told me your stories while your mind could still remember. I would have ask you about the love letters and the pro baseball player in California. We would talk about being a delegate in the Nixon administration and visiting the troops in Europe when people didn’t just fly to Europe. Did you take a boat? I want to know what is was like being a single mother at a time when that was frowned upon. I would ask why you thought the church had repeatedly failed you. You walked boldly and your perspective is unique. You made tough choices and great sacrifices. Would you change any of it?
Your life took a major turn when you settled down to be a single mother. You became a librarian. You also smiled less in photographs. I don’t know why you lost your some of your sparkle but if it’s because you gave up a life of wanderlust and freedoms to raise your daughter, I appreciate that sacrifice.
You raised a daughter who knows how to love. I believe love is learned, modeled for us. You instilled this in her. She turned out great and I know this because I married her son. He knows how to love a woman, be a hands on father, and lead a family. Thank you Thelma for the choices you made. So when I asked you earlier if you would change any of it, I hope you say no.
Love from the girl who now paints your fingernails when she visits,
(I wrote this last week, just before grandma passed on Saturday – in loving memory of her)