God forgive me. I love my Grandma, I really do. She's the same fabulous lady that I attend church supper with each Wednesday night. Having turned 90 in April, she's amazingly active, driving all over Birmingham (watch out for the white sedan!) to attend volunteer meetings, ladies' luncheons, bridge games, water aerobics, and, of course, shuttling her "elderly friends" around.
For serious. I love her. Hope to have her energy when I turn 90. Her motto? "I'd rather wear our than rust out," which she often tells us when we warn her to slow down or put her feet up every so often.
One thing that cracks me up about Grandma is her Christmas letter. Each year, she sends out a one-page missive to friends, family, and church goers documenting her year. While you might expect her letter to read something like my first paragraph ("I see bridge friends at least three times a week and catch up with my water aerobics buddies two mornings each week."), instead it reads as more of a reflection.
I wish that when I was first added to the list (having my own address and all) that I had saved her letters. They were always wonderfully and unintentionally hilarious. After the 2006 mailing, in which she opened by announcing the death of her cardiologist from a heart attack, my aunt was dubbed head editor, presiding over the theme and tone of the letter. When the 2007 mailing included a few, um, catchy references to family members, my aunt defended herself, "You should've seen what I edited out!"
This year's letter arrived yesterday and again I find myself cherishing each and every word, starting with the documenting of the Alagasco employee discovering a leaking gas pipe that brought carbon monoxide poison but NO BROKEN BONES (her caps, not mine) and ending with her elegant signature.
My favorite line this year is personal. Apparently this card was written, but not mailed, just before the birth of the latest great grandchild. Luckily, there was time for a write-in addition. Unfortunately, there was not room in the appropriate spot. See how you interpret this:
A 6th grandchild arrived in February and we expect a 7th any moment! Then J & L's married children will have 2 children each! A, J's 4th's child [That's me!] will marry B in May 2009. What a wonderful event to look forward to this coming year! And now we have another baby in the family.
Does anyone else read this and see the words "Shotgun Wedding" flash through their minds? I love it. Makes me smile. I don't know the people this goes out to so if they read it that way too, then she can just update them next year in the letter. That or they can send me baby presents. Either way.
Just a note... I always hesitate about writing something that someone might read as mocking or hurtful (well, when I know the person at least), but I had to share this because it warmed my heart. I know Grandma won't be around forever to assign premature pregnancy or document her life in the death of others, and when the letter stops, I will miss it terribly. Plus, while Grandma's letters are typed and not hand-written (how do you think my aunt gets to proof them?), she does not use the internet, at least not that I know of. Whew! Love you Grandma! ...just in case.