February 12, 2012

Letter To My 94 Year Old Grandma On Her Last Day

February 12, 2012

Letter To My 94 Year Old Grandma On Her Last Day

Dear Nanny,

I’m sorry I wasn’t by your side on your last day. But that doesn’t mean I’m not with you.

I’ve always been with you, from my first childhood memories of you trekking from Flushing to visit us in Telluride, watching you scale Cornet Creek with your purse. To the big month-long New York visit Justine and I did in 1983, eating and playing as much as I can ever remember. To my adulthood visits, getting to know you as a person and not just a grandma.

Even though we never had a day-to-day relationship given our locations, you’ll still always define family for me.

The airtight eat, sleep, play schedule you kept is the parenting magic that’s made its way into a thousand books in your lifetime.

But you knew the code naturally: keep kids warm with hugs and kisses, keep them on a routine, keep them playing hard, and keep them full.

Simple to say the words. Incredibly disciplined and complex to live it by raising four daughters then having seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren over the past 69 years. And nothing short of legendary to turn out Italian master chef-level cooking from that tiny kitchen of yours!

Even in your twilight when it was no longer your responsibility to run everyone’s routine, your glow still kept us all warm.

When you first met my baby son three years ago, you’d stopped talking as much and your memory had grown hazy. Yet your natural kid connection, and your hugs and kisses, made you just as clear with him as you were with me when I was a kid.

Like all of the times I spent with you, that’s my enduring memory … your warmth.

So as you pass into the next life, I’ll always remain with you. And I’ll always try to keep things simple and warm.