Happy Birthday, Gran

Today is my Grandmother's Birthday. We're going to take balloons, cake and ice-cream to her place today and share with any of the residents who want to join us. It has been wild, sifting through old photos she collected and stored in the bottom of her closets. That's where I found the photo from 1998 you see below.

I write about my Grandmother often, how she figures into the stories of who I am. I write about her kitchens, her fierceness, the way she encourages and supports me. The time I lived with her and my great-grandmother will be a time for which I am forever grateful, deeply, deeply grateful. Each day I am here, in Alabama, I become more and more aware of how special those years were for all 3 of us

To know my Grandmother is to celebrate her. She has a way of making you better in her presence, somehow. Even though she suffers from dementia, and some of her edges are gone, when I see her, I see the woman who challenged me to be whatever I wanted to be, whose drive and attitudes about how life should be lived influence me greatly. When I make decisions today, I think of her, wondering what she would do, particularly in situations where a question of ethics comes in to play. Her advice got me through much of my education. Her stories fed my own interests in writing. And her impact on my life is something I recognize in so many ways.

When I see her this afternoon, I hope she can feel how much I love her. But one thing she has taught me about relationships, is that sometimes it has to be enough that you know.

Happy 85th, Grandmother!