I have a folder on my desktop with a bunch of signatures that I've clipped for a future blog post. I knew I had some cards put away somewhere that came from some of my great-grandparents so I went digging yesterday. I found a couple shoe boxes of cards tucked away in the corner of my storage room. I don't consider myself a "pack rat" but I do get sentimental about stuff and I've always had a hard time throwing away cards. I'm also fortunate that for the first 3-4 years of my life my mom kept cards I received so I have some pretty old ones.
Anyway, I was expecting to find just run of the mill Christmas cards, etc and knew there would be a bunch from both sets of my grandparents. I noted that my dad's mother signed all of the cards from them (every one of them - my grandpa, who's signature I showcased a few blogs ago, never signed a card). My mom's parents were different - my grandpa signed most all of the cards until his last couple of years when my grandma started signing some (not sure why, his health was fine). What I wasn't expecting were the things I kept and forgot I had, in particular letters from my mom's mom the last couple of years before she passed away and cards she sent for making the "Honors Convocation" each year, from May of 1990-November of 1999.
I was caught off guard by the content of some of the letters. The little nuggets of wisdom and advice are right there in front of me and I can relate to it now in a way I couldn't back then. I wish I'd have had a better understanding of it when I was younger. I was just on the cusp of understanding when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was a very private person so, although I knew she loved me very much there is so much about her that I still don't know.
I found myself overwhelmed with emotions when reading them, reliving some good and some bad, realizing that my grandmother was trying to tell me things that I wasn't hearing at the time and truly realizing that she understood her time was short and she wanted to impart her wisdom while she still could. I found myself "looking in the mirror" and wondering if I'd lived up to their "expectations" (probably not the word I'm looking for but it'll have to do).
Perhaps she understood that I'd keep them and find myself reading them again someday. I found this snippet very interesting:
One thing that gave me a chuckle was a folded up napkin that I found tucked away. I figured I'd lost it years ago. After my grandpa's death it could be tough to get her out of the house and she'd often turn down chances to go out. One time I got over there and found this taped to the back door:
All in all I'm glad I found what I found but I did have a strange emotional reaction to some of it. Has this ever happened to you? I was going to post some of the letters but I decided against it. My grandma was very private and I'm going to respect that when it comes to some of them. That said, here are a couple snippets from cards regarding my schoolwork and my graduation from high school.