You've Got Mail: Connecting With Grandparents
--by monkeyinpajamas, posted Sep 23, 2009
I kept wondering about ways to be kind. I hardly leave my room or the university and I hardly meet people. Then I remembered that my grandfather had bought a new computer and had learnt to use the web recently.
My grandparents formed some of my first crystalline childhood memories. They would insist on taking me to the beach every day. I can still recall my grandfather holding my hand and taking me to a park with a duck-pond near my house. My grandmother would feed my cousins and me balls of rice, placing them on each outstretched hand, as we looked at the stars and the moon on hot summer nights. My grandfather would always buy orange juice when he knew I was going to make my twice weekly visit. They would drive over to our home with home made comfort food when I fell sick.
These are just a few stories I can remember about the kindness they showed to me.
I have been writing an email to them once every week: funny emails with stories and descriptions; trying to add a hint of novelty and colour in their lives with my chronichles from a foreign land. Emails about my friends, classes, activities and always ended with a picture I have taken recently. I receive replies that are always painstakingly typed, grammatically perfect, making me ashamed of my generations 'b' instead of 'be' and 'u' and all those other spelling distortions.
My mother says they really yearn for news from their grand children, and talk about all our activities and wait to speak to us on the occasional phone call.They have always , (in the cold isolation of old age) loved the deep connections made with people.
Sitting in a distant corner of the world , I feel re affirmed that I am loved, and not alone. The next time I walk outside my apartment and see the old lady next door walking her dog, I will take a minute to give her a genuine smile and pause to chat with her. I think she must be somebody's grandparent too, who longs to connect with people.
Love and smiles, jacinda :)