I wanted to write a story about gifts from the heart and the deep meaning they can have for us. A few days ago I was in my office with a friend of mine. My friend knows me as most casual friends know one another. On the surface. Only dearest friends know our deepest secrets and our true depth.
My friend sees a devoted wife who believes a woman is the magic elixir in a marriage. She knows I am a woman who tries, tries, tries and has listened to me go on and on about my frustrations with technology. Her ears are especially open when I tell her I am ready to throw my computers out of the 71st floor window of my condo-in-the-sky. She knows I can be a very Gracie Allen type because we laugh together.
She knows I have wanderlust, she knows my creative side, she knows I adore nature. Also that I am fervent about America and would lead a grandmother march for the sake of preserving Democracy. She knows I ‘believe in magic,’ love crystals, ferries, and wands. That I am a serendipitous type.
But it was not until she walked into my office did she become fully aware of how sentimental a person I am. She gazed in awe at my shelf filled with many objects and was curious to hear the stories behind them.
MY COLLECTION OF STORIES AND TRINKETS
She asked about my magic wands, one gifted to me from my daughter-in-law, Jami, and the other from my Ultimate Concierge. Also about my sign that reads BELIEVE IN MAGIC given to me by Carolyn who worked at Honey Good. She asked about a beautiful shell a woman gave me on the beach on Nantucket. I keep it safe in a glass box given to me by my favorite aunt.
There’s a round stone from the land of Israel brought back to me from my grandson. She wondered about a little heart dish that reads, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss from my daughter Jenny. And about my puku beads from Hawaii and a crystal angel from my dear friend, Sharon.
We both became sentimental as we exchanged stories about our meaningful momentos. That afternoon we bonded. We became more than casual friends. Funny how things happen. It’s serendipity, darling! A special happening when you are aware of the powers and can reach for a special happening and hold on to it tight.
THE POWERS OF A GRANDMOTHER
The powers of a grandmother is far-reaching. Grandmothers are fairy godmothers. They are more than kisses and cookies. They pass down their values from generation to generation.
Who knows what touches each grandchild about their grandmother. It can be her laugh, her grace, her understanding manner. Or a little-known happening or a special occasion. But, I would think that every grandmother leaves a part of herself within each of her grandchildren.
They may call her Nana, Abuelita, Bunica, YaYa, Gigi, Babcia, Grand-mere, Grandma, Nanny, and in my case, Honey. She is kisses and comfort and the storyteller in her family. She passes down the family history that is so important for every grandchild to know.
GIFTS FROM A GRANDMOTHER’S HEART
As I told you, I am deeply sentimental. As my friend and I looked over my sentimental treasures she asked me to tell her a few stories that related to my grandchildren. I asked her to tell me her stories too. Over a hot cappuccino and a muffin, we shared a little part of our history as grandmothers.
TWO OF MY FAVORITE STORIES
Serendipity brought me to a gift from the heart. It was a beautiful summer afternoon. I was looking forward to attending a barbeque with my Ultimate Concierge. I dropped into a little shop owned by a woman. This shop always carried items I found enchanting or out of the ordinary in some way. I wanted to bring my hostess a small gift.
As I scoured the little shop, the owner — a woman late in age with flamming long red hair and a personality to match — followed me as I gazed at this and that. I genuinely enjoyed her company because she reminded me of a friendly witch. She was a hoot.
Nothing tickled my fancy for my hostess but on the top of the highest shelf in her shop sat a beautiful little fairy. She definitely had my granddaughter’s name written all over her.
With a twinkle in her eye, the friendly witch offered to climb up her twelve-foot ladder to fetch the fairy for me. I remember being terrified she would fall!
Holding my breath, I watched her cradle the little fairy in one hand and grasp the side of the ladder with the other. She was light on her feet and she arrived at ground level with no problem.
As I held the beautiful fairy in the palm of my hand, I knew that this would truly be a gift from a grandmother’s heart.
I bought a small charming card from the happy witch. This is what I wrote on the enclosure to my six-year-old granddaughter:
LETTER TO MY GRANDDAUGHTER
Dear Granddaughter of mine,
This is your very own fairy. She will protect and watch over you all the days of your life. Keep her close in a special place in your bedroom. She will shine on you and bless you and keep you safe all the days of your life.
I will love you forever and always,
My granddaughter is now in her 20s and she still keeps the fairy in her bedroom.
LETTER TO MY GRANDSONS
Once my Ultimate Concierge and I were walking down the street in Aspen. I stopped dead in my tracks in front of the rock shop. My husband gave me a bewildering look but he popped into the little shop with me.
Almost immediately I saw a large glittering black rock with embedded silver sparkles. I thought of my little grandson, my firstborn grandson Robbie, and the life I hoped he would lead. I had to get it for him.
As more grandsons came into the world I made it a point to find a rock shop that sold black glittering rocks for each of them. All loving gifts from the heart.
Last November I was in my grandson Michael’s bedroom. His shelf is filled with memories like mine. Out of the blue, he commented, “Guess what gift I still have that you gave me when I was a little boy?” ( He is now in medical school.) Perhaps it was serendipity because I wanted it to be the rock. Without hesitation, I said, “the black glittering rock? “Yep,” he said with his big happy smile, “The rock!”
He knew my heart was melting. I knew his was, too. We looked at one another and hugged because we both knew it was a gift from his grandmother’s heart.
I enclosed the same message to each grandson:
Dear Grandson of Mine,
Please keep your glittering rock on your desk or shelf. It symbolizes all my dreams for you. If you choose good values, are hard-working, and come from love. If you have compassion for others and know the feeling of gratitude, I believe your life will sparkle.
I will love you forever and always,
ALWAYS GIFT FROM THE HEART
Darling, you can buy your grandchildren iPhones, headsets, computers, bikes, and jewelry and more. The iPhone and computers will wear out, newer iPhones and Apple watches will replace the original. The grands will outgrow their bikes and jewelry will be replaced with newer and better.
But sentimental gifts from a grandmother never grow old: they grow stronger.