Monday, October 29, 2012

Tears and a Smile

My friend Jen's grandmother died a few days before I headed to Ohio in September. Jen and I not only went to high school together, but our parents also grew up in the same small Ohio town (this sounds like a John Mellancamp song), which meant even our grandparents were friends. Jen and I are linked by generations, which is a cool thing.

So anyway, it was nice that I got to see Jen in person and give her a hug while I was in Ohio, because like me, her grandparents have played a big role in her life, and she has been lucky, like me, to have her grandparents into her own adulthood. So many people don't get to have that!

When I picked up mail on Saturday, there was an envelope from Jen. In it, were two recipe cards with my grandma's name, Floriene, on them. One was typed, one was in her own handwriting. Tears popped immediately into my eyes, and then I smiled. What's that line from Steel Magnolias? Something like, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." And it's so true. (And what the heck? Between a Laugh and a Tear: another John Mellancamp song! I swear I didn't plan this.) While Jen was going through her grandmother's things, she found the recipes that my grandma had given her grandma.

I still have cards and letters my grandma sent me over the years, and I have her recipe box, as well, so it's not like I couldn't get them out and look at her handwriting or hear her "voice" whenever I want to, but there was something so wholly unexpected about coming out of the post office on a fall Saturday morning and receiving something ao dear to you that someone else came across, thought of you, and then cared enough to put it in the mail in this age of electronic communication.

To me, it was the equivalent of gold, in both memory and friendship.

Me with Grandma and Grandpa Moffit circa 1993 -- almost 20 years ago! Eeek!


M said...

How very special...the friendship and the recipe card. Because my parents had me so late in life, I had only one grandmother...and she lived clear across the country. I wrote her letters and I have a few she sent to me. My favorite treasures are a sewing basket from my husband's grandmother and some very old pyrex bowls from his other gramndmother....both who have passed away.

Happy Halloween :) carving 25 pumpkins tomorrow!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful post, Natalie.

Anonymous said...

You are so right on every point, Nat. From the luck of having grandparents into our grown-up years to the sudden emotion that accompanies an unexpected memento.

Beautifully written (and damned cute picture!)


Ann Napoletan said...

What a great story... and a wonderful friend. :-)