Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kids

Kids can drive you nuts.
Kids can get on your nerves.
Every now and then they do something to touch your heart.
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Sandy Brawners invitation to join Facebook prompted me to create my own page, just so I could join the "I bet I can find 1,000,000 people that love quilting group" - (I was #91). Having my own page also allowed me to become "friends" with people, including my daughters. Looking (although Lindsay would call it snooping) around her page, I read some of her attachments. I have always enjoyed Lindsays writing, but the willingness of my 17 year old to express these thoughts on her facebook page really amazed me. I couldn't resist sharing them with you.
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Do you remember letters?
I used to write letters to my friends occasionally… from time to time I’d send a note to my Aunt Jean because she liked to hear from me, and I loved to get mail, especially from her.
I started saving the Hallmark greeting cards I got for my birthdays and holidays one year a long time ago, just because it felt like such a shame to throw them away. And when I open this plain white box that they’re all shoved in, I remember those birthdays.
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I have a letter from my grandmother that she wrote me when I was six years old. She made me a present just to show that she was thinking of me. For weeks, she clipped an ongoing story about a rebellious raccoon and her brother… “Keep Your Eye on Amanda” was what it was called... out of the newspaper. She photocopied all of them for me and put the pages in laminated sleeves so I could read them all together as a little book. All of the original articles are tucked in the back. She bound it all together with key rings in a Tweety Bird folder. After the end of the story, the next page is just one paper. One off-white piece of lined paper with her printed handwriting, neat and double-spaced for her elementary-school granddaughter.
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Dear Lindsay,
This story was printed, a chapter a day, in our newspaper the “St. Pete Times”, and I thought it was cute. So I decided to make a book out of it, and hopefully you will like the story too. This is not a Christmas present, just an in-be-tween present, because you are beautiful and sweet. Of course, it is also because I think of you and I love you. I wish I could be there and we could read it together, but you have lots of family to be with to read. So I’ll just be a little bird and sit on your window sill and watch you.
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Tell your Mother and Dad, we got the Thanksgiving flowers. They are very beautiful. There are fall colored Mums, yellow mums, two large red roses and two large red carnations, and small yellow carnations, greens and dried oats, with a red candle standing up in the middle.
Give everyone a kiss and hug from Great Grandma, Grampa George, and me. Take care of each other.
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Keep smiling,
Love ya,
Grandma
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She sat and wrote those words on this piece of paper for me. Five years later she died of liver cancer, and eleven years later, I still have her words. Her handwriting. The little piece of time when she was alive, thinking of me, and sending her love. Their love, actually – and through the years, my Great Grandma and Grandpa George passed away as well.
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I really love the convenience of email and text messaging. Progress is a beautiful thing, and technology continues to enhance our lives in ways I can’t believe we’ve managed. Everything has its place, though. I still believe the most important things deserve a pen and paper. Handwriting. Smudges, creases, your own letters, your own spaces, your own mistakes.
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Aileen, my father’s mother, never typed her grandchildren anything. And when I look at that piece of paper, all I can think is thank you, thank you, thank you...
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Is she a great kid or what?

3 comments:

banjo795 said...

Wow. What else can I say?

Anonymous said...

As a grandma and great grandma it brought tears to my eyes. A girl to be proud of Karen!

Anonymous said...

I have a box that I've kept for each of my nieces and nephew and it contains every note, card, slip of paper, drawn picture ... ANYTHING they gave to me. They're in their 20's now and each time they visit they still ask if I have "their" boxes. Yes, the WRITTEN word is far more powerful that people seem to realize. What a beautiful daughter you have in her realization of what is precious. Great blog piece, Karen ... thanks for sharing ....