May 14, 2018 – My Monday Morning Musing
Encouragement comes in many ways in our lives. When your world feels a bit small while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, having just a little dose of happiness in the form of an unexpected and very personal gift goes a long way. When the encouraging gift comes from a grandchild, well, that’s incredibly special.
My (not-so-little anymore) namesake granddaughter, Violet Cynthia, presented me with that type of gift yesterday at church. She said, “It’s not a Mother’s Day gift, because you’re not my mother. It’s just something special for you.” She handed me an unpretentious gift box with the following handwritten on the cover (see photo above and note all the heart symbols):
To: Mrs. Grandma Cynthia
From: Ms. Violet Cynthia
I hope you find a little happiness in this gift!
Note: This gift can be returned and refilled for more enjoyment!
With just a few minutes to spare before our Bible class began, I lifted the cover of the little white box to take a quick peek inside. I spied a bright yellow envelope, which happily announced that the gift deeper within the package would yield “a week’s worth of happiness for you.” Then, in larger letters, and circled so I wouldn’t miss it, was the word: RULES!
Inside the yellow envelope was an appropriately violet-colored piece of paper with the following written upon it:
I do hope you understand that these notes are meant to be read one at a time to spread the happiness slowly, but a lot of it. Please begin with the big one (from me), then take your sweet time through the rest day by day, or hour by hour, or whenever you need it!
Love, Violet Cynthia
P.S. I love you so so so so so so muchly much much much!!
Hard as it would be, I decided to wait until a quiet moment at home to unwrap the special gift. The perfect moment came this morning while seated in my comfy chair, just before opening my Bible. It was time to open her gift and bask in her love. As I unrolled the bubble wrap, a sweetly decorated Snapple ice-tea bottle emerged. The bottle’s colorful label informed me that it contained: A Little Happiness for each day of the week.
Wound around the neck of the bottle was a stretchy gold thread with a sweet handmade gift tag attached. Its message read:
To: Grandma Cynthia
From: Violet and Charlie (mainly Violet)
It was hard, but I waited until this morning to open the bottle to fish out my first bit of happiness. I pulled out the “big one” and carefully unrolled it. A fairy dusting of glitter sprinkled over me as I teased open the little scroll of paper with purple gel penned words. My Violet had taken the time to write down some special thoughts she had about me by writing a little essay. First she introduced me as her ‘Hobbit Grandma’…a fairly new term of endearment she has for me. Thankfully, she assured it was not because hobbits had large hairy feet, rather, it was because I was always barefooted. Apparently hobbits don’t wear shoes. Why would they when they have feet? My feelings exactly!
Violet described me in her essay first as an “angel,” then as her “Fairy Godmother” who does her best to make all her wishes come true (like most grandmas, I try hard to love on my grandkids). Among other things, Violet recalled that when she was much littler, as many grandmas do, I would sew little dresses for her.
She then described me as her ‘teacher.’ To her, it’s more than the fact that I have been her Bible teacher on a number of occasions, but she assured me that she is learning from me by watching my life. In particular, she sees patience, persistence, and an ability to handle anger with kindness. I felt particularly humbled by this section of her little essay, knowing that I still have a lot of growing to do in all of those areas, but also in knowing that she is watching me.
According to Violet’s story, grandma’s house has something special that makes it “homier than my own home.” I hope that will always be the case; that she will forever want to come and visit, work in my garden, make crafts, eat fresh-baked goodies, and be chased up the basement stairs by the scary monster that apparently lives there…or the one in the big walk-in closet of the yellow guest room. Most of all, I hope that my grandchildren will always know that they can come to me to talk about ANYTHING, that I will listen to them, and that I will pray for them.
True confession: I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to open one of Charlie’s little notes! Here it is in all its sweetness…