Stories of Kindness from Around the World

5 Love Notes To My Grand-mother

--by tesa, posted Mar 18, 2015
I was just in France to visit my grand-mother who is very dear to me. I don’t get to cross the Atlantic very often, and she’s now 96 year old, so every time I go visit, the two of us are very aware that it might be the last time we see each other.

Last time I visited her in December of 2004, I did a series of short video interviews about her life. I asked her what it was like to grow up with her father in the 1910s (her mother died during labor), to live through the German occupation alone with two young children with a husband away in a prisoners' camp in Germany. I asked her about her greatest memories and life learnings so far, her favorite books, foods, stories. I also asked her about her spirituality and her thoughts about death. I learned a lot of amazing new things about her I never knew before. These were very intimate conversations and a very special time for both of us.

This year, I did not really have questions, only a great urge for her to know how loved she is. I cooked for her, and read her stories. I gave her a foot massage, which I was amazed to discover was her first ever!

Before leaving, I was looking for a way to leave something meaningful
to behind besides the memory of our time together. So I wrote her five different love and gratitude notes to let her know how much she means to me, and hid them in different places where I knew she would eventually find them… One under the sheets, on her pillow. Another one hanging from the lamp shade by which she reads in the evening. Another one by her toothbrush. One in her mailbox which she eagerly checks every day. And a last one on her car’s steering wheel (she still drives to the nearby village a couple of times a week to run errands!).

I left really joyous knowing that these cards would surely cheer her up after I left (she lives by herself). She called me as I was traveling back to Paris to catch my plane back to the US and said (in French of course): “I found your three cards! By the time I discovered the third, I was laughing out loud! They did me so much good. Thank you so much!” I smiled to myself, knowing she still had two more to go! It was Sunday, so my guess is that she had not checked her mailbox and had not yet driven her car!

As I was sitting on the plane back to the United States, I remembered that one of my friends' guiding principles is to treat everyone like family, and so I was thinking about ways to practice that in different settings, including on a plane ride. I decided that on my next flight, I would bring and write five anonymous appreciation cards for different people on the plane, including the pilot who probably does not get thanked enough for taking us safely to our destination.
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Readers Comments

Reshma wrote: Thank you and such inspiring and great ideas. I like the idea about thanking the pilot.
Dilip Shah wrote: Excellent and inspiring story. I subscribe to and read daily good and kindspring every day. For me, that is a really a joyous way to start a day. Many thanks to those who work so hard to bring us such joy every day.

poetrybug wrote: What a sweet and thoughtful idea :)
sandyremillar wrote: Your story is moving, reaches out to the deepness of our feelings, and gives us new ways to bring happiness to those we love. Thank you soo much! Blessings.
bookworm58 wrote: Our grandparents can teach us so much about how special life is. I am glad you have such a special relationship even tho you live far apart.
Thank you for sharing this special story
Sue wrote: We all should do this - can you imagine how much happier the world would be.
dilip wrote: My grandparents died when i was 12yrs,but still all my memories are only about them,instead of my own parents,i wish i could stay on my own till my last breath. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.
Tamorah wrote: Thank you for your story. I was smiling something i have not done for awhile. There are good people who care in this world. I will keep on trying and i was inspired to keep a going even when there seems to be so much anger all around me.
Navaz wrote: God bless all the kind souls of this earth, without which life would not be worth living.
bilkis.yusuf wrote: What a wonderful way to appreciate and show your love to someone special

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