Letter to my grandchild: Footprints on my heart

Letter to my granddaughter:

Dearest Beloved, 8-10-01

Hello! HELLO! I miss you!
I do so miss you!
You have been in my thoughts, almost as persistent as a child at a mother’s skirt! You seem to follow me throughout my daily routines. I suppose that is what happens to one who has moved away. I can only guess I have buyer’s remorse. (Mommy can explain that to you better.)

Now, I think I’ll share a thought with you.
I will tell you a story about a Grandmother’s very special experience. This story will relate to you just how important the tiniest little things in life can affect one’s heart and soul (if one is a sentimental old grandmother). You see, Beloved, you will find that you have been going through life, living your life and just doing your everyday things, and yet, Beloved, you have not even been aware that each of your little movements has been devotedly recorded on your grandmother’s heart.

Most stories begin with “Once upon a time”. However, this begins in a different manner, like this:

Sometime ago, approximately two and a half years ago, there was a little granddaughter who came over to visit me … I mean to visit her grandmother. She had a wonderful time. She played with some little toys that once belonged to her mommy. She played cards (I believe it might have been OLD MAID and GO FISH. She played some kind of checkers, or perhaps it was Tic-Tac-Toe. She made cookies with her grandmother. She even enjoyed eating peanut-butter-and-jelly and cereal for breakfast, lunch, and supper. I believe she may even have gone grocery shopping with her grandmother beforehand to pick out the cereal and the jelly. Then, evening fell. Well, after a full day of playing, the granddaughter was certainly ready for a bath. So, as the grandmother drew the water, the granddaughter stepped into the tub ….

We must stop here for just a moment. You see, you must understand that this house of grandmother’s was 28 years old. So, many things in the house were very old. Most specifically, the tub was this old. Well, in order to keep such an old tub clean, one must scour it (which means to scrub). When one scours a tub, the tub becomes very porous, that means it will soak up anything that gets on it. So, if you touch a freshly scoured tub with mud or grease, the mud or grease will soak into the tub and stain it. Now, we can return to our story.

Now, the granddaughter’s feet were quite greasy and dirty from running around barefoot all day long, because as you know grandmothers don’t make granddaughters wear shoes if they don’t want to. As the granddaughter stepped into the tub, her little 4-year-old foot left the most perfect footprint in the tub. The print of the toes was perfect. The print was a perfect picture of a perfect foot.

The granddaughter didn’t even notice the footprint. But, the grandmother saw the footprint at that very moment. It was as if she felt the footprint press right down on her own heart. You would think she would clean it up immediately. But, no, she fell in love with that silly little footprint and secretly, she hoped it would never go away, even after a good cleaning. Do you know that it never went away, even after 100 cleanings!

Very often, the grandmother would look into that tub and remember that wonderful visit from her granddaughter. That footprint looked just like a footprint to everybody else, but it was a reminder of a very special day for the grandmother.

Well, after a few more years, it was time for the grandmother to sell her house. She cleaned the house from top to bottom, spotlessly. And, she even cleaned the tub. But still, the footprint stubbornly remained. When the house was sold, and the grandmother drove away from her house for the last time, there was only one very special thing she could not take with her. She could not take her granddaughter’s footprint with her, and that made her so very sad. As she was driving away, a tear fell on her cheeks. But feeling sad was not something this grandmother liked. So, she had an idea. She went through all her pictures of her granddaughter, and she found a shirt that she was wearing on the day the granddaughter was born. And, do you know that shirt had a newborn footprint of the granddaughter when she was just born? It even had a date on it. It was 4-24-94.

Well, Beloved, as I was saying at the beginning of this letter, we may not know it, but even the smallest of things we do will leave footprints on someone’s heart. So, let’s continue to tread lightly throughout our life, and let’s leave the softest of footprints wherever we might go. For surely, someone, somewhere, will feel each step.

I must go now, and get busy on my laundry. For it doesn’t go away, no matter how much I ignore it. I shall write again soon, when my laundry is done and my belly is full of peanut-butter sandwiches, and I have had many days to catch up on STUFF.

I Love you, and I am thinking of you always,

Curly Grandma

Who is Curly Grandma? She is a real grandma with seven grandchildren.  Her name came from her first grandchild, Megan, who learned to distinguish her two grannies with “adjectives”. Visit Curly Grandma at her website www.curlygrandma.com and learn all about writing letters to grandchildren. You can even buy her book Curly Grandma’s Letters: Writing to Kids and Capturing Your Autobiography (Tate Publishing) on her site. This blog and illustration may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Anita Bryce.

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6 Responses to “Letter to my grandchild: Footprints on my heart”

  1. Margie Says:

    Thank you for sharing that. At least now I know I’m not going totally bonkers regarding how I feel about my grand-daughter who is across the country. I love her and miss her so much after each visit and in between that time. She is only 4 months old so this experience is pretty new to me.

    • curlygrandma Says:

      Hello Margie, You’re so right! We are bonkers for our grandchildren. Join the club of doting grandparents! Oh, I feel so bad for you to be separated by so many miles. I truly hope you get lots of visits to ease the pain of distance. Those miles seem magnified when the grands are babies because they grow so fast. And, it’s difficult to miss their first steps and words and accomplishments. But, you can be assured, Margie, no matter how bonkers you might feel, there are so many of us who are equally bonkers. I must apologize for not visiting WordPress in so many months. I have had many life changing events, and writing took a back seat for a while. Thank you for your kind words, and don’t forget, it’s never too early to start writing letters to your grandchildren. Happy writing, Margie!

  2. Linda Stout-Fisher Says:

    I was searching for grandparents who had lost g-children given away for adoption. ANOTHER dead end. YOU should make your site known for what it is. JUst for YOU, selfish!

    • curlygrandma Says:

      Hello Linda. I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine the pain you must be feeling. I will say a prayer for you and hope that your pain is somehow eased. But, I feel helpless. I don’t know what else to say to you. Just know that anyone who reads your comment cannot help but feel touched and pained for you. I am not sure why I upset you, though. I thought WordPress was just a place that I could write my own personal thoughts, and that if someone stumbled upon my words and felt compelled to comment to me, then that’s what it was all about. Because my words are out there for all to see, I try to make it entertaining. So, I am confused as to what I should be doing so that I am not acting selfishly. If you happen to stumble across my blog again, I would be happy for you to tell me how to be a better blogger. I hope you soon find peace, Linda, and may God be with you.

  3. Karen Says:

    Love your story and you are not selfish your hear is in the right place. That poor lady is just hurting, hope Jesus will touch her heart so she won’t be hurting so bad. I had grandchildren adoption out and have not got to see them in 4 years, but I know God is still in control. Keep writting

    • curlygrandma Says:

      Hi Karen, thank you for your warm and supportive words. I agree that our lady is hurting. Your kindness and concern is most certainly a genuine help to her and to so many others with this same pain. I am so sorry that you haven’t been able to see your 4 little grands. I know your loss is deep and everlasting. But, your brave outlook and your faith is a beacon of courage and peace to all grandparents who have suffered such a loss. We are lucky to have such grandparents as you. Keep on writing, Karen!

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