5 Love Notes To My Grand-mother
--by tesa, posted Mar 18, 2015
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.
Thank you for sharing this special story