First-ever love letter to my mom’s mom on what would have been her 85th birthday:
This first February entry is dedicated to my maternal grandmother. Born February 12, 1937, Grandma Leila Joan would have turned just 85 years young if she were still here with us today.
It was the 43rd day of the year 1937 with 322 days remaining.
It strikes as so odd how now of all times, in my 32nd year of life, I’ve entered into this brand new, grand new leveled-way-up curiosity as to why now, Grandma Leila?
And yet I’ve come to see it is now Aquarius Season, and how that’s your sign. Stars align so beautifully, don’t they, Grandma? I wonder what you dreamt about becoming. I’d say when you were young, yet young you were always.
I wonder who you were before you became Mom to mine in your arms pictured below with her three siblings. Did you have any siblings, Grandma? What made you laugh so hard you cried happy tears? What music did you like to listen to most of all? Did you like to dance, Grandma? Did you sing? Did you write? What truly sparked your spirit and brought you to life?
Just look at her beam so bright and beautiful here holding my mom with her three older babies standing before her: Aunt Debbie, Uncle Ron and Aunt Terry - Mom's brother and sisters.
My God, My Grandma.
Seemingly suddenly I want to know what she would have wanted me to know of her all along. All I know is tragedy and the mere fact that she birthed my own mom, 4th and final of her own children, who all then went on to give life to 5 more babies, us - Leila's grandchildren, though I don’t know how many of us she got to meet. Not me, nor my brother - this I know. She passed a few years before I was born; Mom was 21 years old. She had me at 24 in ‘89 and Scott in ‘93.
Scott and I are among the luckiest because we call her Mom. Your youngest baby girl is Mom to me, and wow, is she ever extraordinary, Grandma. I know you beam with pride for how after all the formative years of grueling hardship and unspeakable pain, Mom still paved the way to rise in kaleidoscopic, everlasting light of love like only an extraordinary woman can care to do.
You also gave the greatest gift of all - the gift of life - to one son, Uncle Ron, my godfather. He has this framed photo of you on display in his house. At first glance, I thought it was a picture of my mom. She looks so much like you, Grandma. Writing that made me cry.
I bet she has your heart. I can feel it in my heart. Maybe that could mean I have your heart, too?
It feels so weird to mourn someone I never met, never knew. Yet, you I do. Somehow I still miss you so dearly and long for your light of love. I wish you could have been there with my mom. At her wedding. When we were born. When we were young. When she was young. We're all still so young. All throughout this ever bright and beautiful life. I wish you were here now, too. And I’m learning lately, newly, how you still are here, now. I’m hearing your whispers loud and soft and clear, Grandma Leila.
Why now do I wonder what you must have always somehow wanted to share?
What’s changed is how I can feel your presence now within my own heart - I can hear what sounds like your voice in my mind - for the very first time in my own 32 years of life as your granddaughter, I feel you here.
And with completely crystal clear clarity in certainty despite the total unknown here, ahead and all around us, my heart knows to follow this voice within, this pure light of energy guided by my own beloved maternal Grandma Leila.
On behalf of all of us to ever arrive after you who came first before us all, we love you so much and thank you for this sweet gift of life we share in your honor. Happy Birthday, Grandma! You birthed this great legacy of love that as we continue, can only live ever on in your one-womb honor of spirit and wholehearted wisdom with love.
One thing is forever true: The womb is the heart of the start of the world for each and every one of us. Thank you for the incomparable sacrifice that is giving the gift of life, Grandma Leila. Thank you for everything. And so I'll continue to start each day as I've been lately, singing along to this sweet song I so wholeheartedly believe with all my soul was sent by you:
Happy Heavenly 85th Birthday, Grandma Leila!
I’ll be thinking of you. I love you!
Your second granddaughter,
Brittney Lee, belonging to your third daughter, Brenda Lee. I gotta hand it to ya, Grandma, you gave life to one extraordinary woman when you birthed your fourth and final child, my mom:
P.S. Grandma, though I know you know, I should also mention at this moment in time, you now have six sweet, great grandchildren, too. The oldest is 22 and the current youngest will soon turn 5 on March 1. Here we are now, all together, as the collective continuation of who came first before us all: You, Grandma Leila. Happy 85th Birthday with all (y)our Love.