Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Letter and a Handkerchief

This evening, after a lovely visit with good friends, Bosco, Meg, and I dropped in on my mother-in-law. She was so delighted to see us, especially Meghan. (Meg made a visit to Arizona to make some wedding plans.)

Meghan was filling in her grandmother, "Blanche," on the details of her upcoming wedding reception when my mother-in-law asked what her something old would be. She sent Meg into her room to bring her an old cedar box that held some precious things she had saved over the years. In it were linen handkerchiefs from her mother, newspaper clippings and obituaries about family members, and a letter from mother. It was over 60 years old, but amazingly, it was in great shape. Blanche asked Meg to read it to us--it was a letter her mother had written shortly after her oldest child, Charlotte, was born.

I watched my mother-in-law's face as her youngest granddaughter read her own mother's words. Three generations of women all sharing the words of a sweet grandmother encouraging a young mother and making plans to sew baby clothes for her "little honey." I couldn't hold back the tears as I saw my mother-in-law hang onto every word my daughter read. Words of love from someone Meghan had never met, who had left her own daughter way too soon.

As my Meghan read those words, I also thought of the possibility of my own grandchildren. Will they let me read to them as my mother read to her own grandchildren? Will they have my green eyes or my sense of humor? Will they share their secrets, hopes, and dreams with me? Will I be able to live long enough to see them walk down the aisle into the arms of the special someone who takes their breath away? I certainly hope so. Blanche has plans to see Meghan join her life with Kevin and I have plans of my own.

Before we left, Blanche gave us both a handkerchief from her mother's collection. I am going to carry this for a while as I go about my day to day adventures, and I will carry it for her mother when Meghan makes the big walk into Kevin's arms.

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