In a recent blog exercise from Lorelle on WordPress, she suggests we write a post inspired by this idea:
Imagine you made it to heaven, and you knew who you were, and you were able to look down upon your daughter and your grandchildren. What story would you wish to hear your daughter tell your grandchildren?
Leave it to me to be different yet again, but I’m more likely to write to my grandparents in Heaven. Why? Because, other than a brief visit with them when I was a newborn, my mother took me away after that and I never got to know them. I need to feel like their granddaughter before I can think about being a grandmother.
My mother had her reasons for doing what she did, but what I learned from my uncle is that my grandparents didn’t really buy her story. I also have a feeling my grandmother offered to raise me and I suspect she re-entered our lives when I was a teen-ager. And, perhaps, that was just one of the reasons why we fled to Oregon soon after.
These are certainly some of the pieces I’ve put together – whether any of it is true, I won’t know until I get to Heaven.
But here’s what I would like to tell my grandparents – the letter they might read from Heaven – maybe they’re reading it right now:
Grandpa, you know how much you loved baseball and you even got to pitch in the minors until grandma asked you not to (to help her take care of my father and his brothers)? Well, guess what? I must be grandpa’s little girl because I was such a tomboy and I loved playing baseball, too. I bet you would have liked to have known me.
In summers, I would beg off drying the dishes until after dark so I could play “3 Flies Up” or a game of baseball with the neighbors on our cul-de-sac. But once the Disneyland fireworks were over, I knew it was time to go into the house and dry those dishes. Sometimes my mother would be sweet enough to have dried them for me.
Grandpa, you know that picture of you with some of the pro baseball players at Dodger Stadium? Well, my very first pro baseball game I got to see was at Dodger Stadium. My mother and aunt took me when my aunt was visiting from San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing the Giants. I had my first Pastrami sandwich after that game and I never forgot it.
Grandpa, one more thing. You know how you used to sing in a band and play every instrument? Well, I used to sing in school. I was pretty good – even auditioned for solo parts and special touring choirs and was chosen for both. Teachers and vocal coaches always said I had a “good ear” – guess I got that from you – I know how the whole family is musical – grandma, too. Thinking of you, I’ll do my practice on the keyboard today like I should every day.
Grandma, I don’t understand why I didn’t get to know you and grandpa – my other grandma lived right down the street. Why didn’t somebody introduce me when I was old enough to know you? Later, I heard so many wonderful things about you from Uncle Don, that you were intelligent and loving and kind and thirsty for knowledge and God and how you never forgot me. He also said I’m a lot like you and I’m so flattered.
I also know the family played a part in creating that reunion between my mother and father when I was 3 – I know you tried to keep me in your life and I love you for that.
Hugs and Kisses!
Your first granddaughter,
I wrote about the search for my father in Myths of the Fatherless.