To Granny

Hi y'all!  Sorry I haven't posted much for a while.  I've had a few writing gigs - my new monthly post at CatholicMom, a guest post for Erin, and I just finished up a meditation for next year's Daily Gospel Reflections at CM.  These have absorbed most of my recent creativity!  But now that those are done, I have one more major project, and then my brain is free to write whatever I want on this little blog!

This post is a special one, dedicated to the one person who probably reads my blog more often than I do, the best grandmother I could ask for.  (And not just because she spoiled me when I was little!)  Also, it's dedicated to my parents, who are quite enjoying their new gig as grandparents to a little blonde troublemaker.

While watching and reading the Pope's words during his visit to the Americas last week, there was one theme that struck me repeatedly: his emphasis on memory.  This came out in his address to Congress, where he focused on history as essential to good lawmaking and to a nation's identity.  This theme also emerged in his words on grandparents, which he brought up specifically during his ad-libbed address to families in Philadelphia:
“Two things we really have to take care of. The children and the grandparents. The children are the future. The grandparents are the living memory of the family."
He continued, challenging us, saying that a people that
“doesn’t know how to look after its children [or] ... its grandparents is a people that has no future. It doesn’t have strength or the memory to go forward.”
I started remembering all the ways my "Granny" has blessed me throughout my life.  She's always been an example of strength, generosity, hospitality, and love.  Yes, she spoiled me - what happens at Granny's house stays at Granny's house!  She's always been just a phone call away whenever I needed to talk, no matter what hour of the day or night.  I've always loved listening to the stories she'd tell about my family, whether they were about my dad's young days, her own childhood, or her adventures with her friends.  She helped keep me functional during my Rome semester, finding me on Skype for a quick chat in the evenings, her lunchtime.  Sure, I can't get away with anything around her, she's still sharp and always ready to tease me (especially about my "love life!")  She's just plain fun to hang out with and talk to - on the front porch swing, usually, or at the kitchen table.  And she's the most understanding, encouraging and caring person I know, as the many members of her family, whether blood relatives or not, will attest.  Her wisdom has guided me, and her strength inspires me constantly.  I know I've inherited a few traits from her, and I really hope that in my time I'll be a grandmother as awesome as she is!

Pope Francis is right.  Grandparents are a vital part of the family! They are a living memory, another generation of love and wisdom to help form the hearts and minds of the children who look up to them.  There are so many lessons to be learned from their years of experience - so long as they are willing to tell the stories, and we to listen.  Thank you, Granny.  I love you.