Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dear Gramma

As many of you have heard, my beloved Gramma passed away one week ago. She was always a great source of strength and inspiration in my life. During the funeral, my family had an opportunity to read our final words to her. My Uncle Mike and Dad beautifully portrayed their family history and her impact in their lives. I shared as well and have placed the contents of my letter below in hopes to pass on her legacy.

Dear Gramma, 

You will be missed. Your friends will miss you as you've always greeted them with respect and importance as well as an encouraging word and life-long wisdom. You will be missed. Your family will miss you as you always knew how to invest in our lives in such a way that would reap an abundant return in due time and bring an immediate reaction of joy and happiness into our lives. You taught us to respond to situations instead of reacting to circumstances. Your wisdom and love made us sensitive to the needs of others first and foremost, so that we could become effective people instead of just another person. You knew we all had a destiny, a purpose, and you were willing to do whatever it took to expose, encourage, edify, and magnify our God-given talent so we could make the maximum impact in our circle of influence for God's purpose. Thank you Gramma for making me feel special - verbally or physically - every time I was in your presence. Thank you for helping me look forward to the times we spoke or interacted. Though many times they were short in perspective, they made a big impact and helped shape my life into the man I am becoming today.

I remember once when I accidentally broke an expensive porcelain statue in your house. I remember carefully gathering the small fragments into a bag and feeling sorry for how clumsily I had been to break something special to you. But more than anything, I remember your response. You placed the pieces in the garbage without a hint of disappointment and told me, "Logan, that was just a material thing and the people in this house are always more valuable than the things."

You were such and inspiration in my life and I miss you. I miss our phone conversations where you would rejoice over the smallest victories in my life because you knew the potential they led towards. I also knew you were the best person to share good news with; just as telegrams carried good news quickly and efficiently in the past, I just had to 'Tell-A-Gramma' to spread and receive the best news from four (4) states away!

You were always the best communicator. Even in your older age, you captivated your audience. You motivated us to stand for what was right, especially in the case of another person being discriminated without sufficient reason. I remember when you told the story of how joined the Carnival Club only to, a short while later, speak up to why a lady was "black-balled" and rejected without reason. You spoke up and challenged others to have purpose and reason for their actions and helped them know the great responsibility that comes with rejection as well as any decision we make.

I remember your gift of giving. Whether it be compliments or a timely word, or even a tangible gift, it always seemed custom made. You were so gifted, Gramma, in speaking the love language of others. You honed in on our deepest need and gave fully and generously to us a word of encouragement, a hug, or even a simple gift just a the right moment.

I still remember the train you bought my sister and I as kids. Every year we would take it down from the attic and lay the track around the Christmas tree. It was a the blessing that always reminded us of you - a simple gift that helped us treasure that time of the year when our family gathers together.

And maybe you gave it to prepare me to be an engineer one day!

Well, Gramma, you were quite the person of laughter. Yet, you surprised me when you told me of your initial move to Louisiana. You told Papa that "you didn't like it - the people spoke a weird language ... they ate weird food ... and there were still racial tensions between blacks and whites on the sidewalk." But then you told me that you put your preferences aside to embrace the vision of your husband and well-being of your family. Now you've changed what you could, adapted to what you couldn't and ate the tails and slurped the heads of what ended up on your plate, all the while settling more and more into the place you comfortably made your home.

Gramma, we love you for that and all your life lessons. Overall, you taught us to love God, make plenty of time for our spouses, invest in the talents of our children, and share our last piece of bread with our neighbors - for you would say life goes longer that way . I love you, miss you and thank you my Gramma. Goodbye.

With Much Love,
Your Grandson Logan

p.s. - And yes, I know, you love me more.

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