Monday, April 5, 2010

A Few of the Things I Should Have Said

My Gram called me last month and said, "We are moving today to the Cities. You might never see us again," and though I knew this was coming, I have been thinking more and more about them, their impact on my life, and how I love them. This is in response.
You have loved me so well. You have been part of my life before I knew you, before you even knew me. Almost 90, you are still so important to me.

I remember:
  • Preschool at Zion Lutheran Church. I only learned a year or two ago that you paid to send me there.
  • Winter coats
  • Penmanship books at your kitchen table
  • Picking the sweetest raspberries
  • Making raspberry lemonade
  • Picking flowers, cattails and pussy willows
  • Exotic seashells as gifts
  • A shelf made for seashells, lovingly installed in my bedroom
  • Learning to catch and pin insects
  • Winter ski passes to Pine Valley
  • Summer swimming passes to Pinehurst Park
  • Tennis lessons
  • Tennis raquet
  • Having an identity wherever I went in Cloquet when I was growing up. "Are you related to Ray Dolan, the Biology teacher?" was frequently asked, and still is, when people learn my maiden name.
  • Trip to Alaska to see my dad
  • Camping our way across Canada
  • Those caramels in the red plaid box that can only be found in Canada
  • Grampa making me try a cherry tomato at a restaurant in Alaska and almost getting sick. tomatoes are now my favorite food.
  • Gramma picking me up from grade school and junior high to go see Grampa at the high school
  • Getting chased by a goose who wanted the bucket of grain I had
  • Grampa rescuing me from the goose
  • Watering plants at the high school
  • Attending Grampa's retirement party at the high school. I remember being so proud that so many obviously liked and respected you.
  • An A+ on my biology leaf collection - the only one in the class, thanks to my biology teacher Grampa
  • My education
  • Preschool, not just daycare, for both Micah & Grace
  • Van transmission
  • Underwear, Vaseline lotion, Chapstick & toilet paper for Christmas every year
  • Chocolate chip cookies at my back door
  • Angel food cake and that fluffy icing that I still can't make
  • Cranberry pudding
  • All the fixings for rice krispie bars at my back door
  • Dried flowers
  • Ranger Rick
  • National Geographic
  • Snowmobile rides
  • Trips to the cabin
  • Trips across the big lake, hang man's island
  • Loving me enough to have hard conversations with me, about God, getting married young...
And most of all I remember how you have always loved me. Even after my mom and dad were divorced and Mom & I came home without him. You never made me, or her, feel like a second class citizen - and others did. I remember Gramma describing something someone else was doing, her disagreement apparent, but disapproval never articulated, saying, "That's just what they do." From this I learned to accept people and loving them even while disagreeing with their actions.  You have always been there for me, in all these ways and more. I have never been very good at staying in touch and thank yous as I should be, but I want you to know that your love, kindness, wisdom and support has not ever gone unnoticed. I love you more than I can say. Thank you for loving me back.


Counting towards One Thousand Gifts
# 155-194

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful gift of words to your grandparents! I just came over from A Holy Experience. Happy Spring to you!