My Papa did slip away yesterday. But not before my mama read my letter to him. In the state he received it, did he hear it? I'm not really sure. I like to think so.
Which brings me to today. Why do we often wait until it's too late to realize that we should have said the things we wanted to?
I've decided to take that challenge today. This letter is to my Anna. My grandmother that is the match to my Papa I wrote to on Tuesday.
To My Dear Anna~
Let's start there, shall we?
My Anna (pronounced 'Ah-nah') chose her own grandmother name WAY before it was cool. Now everybody is doing it. And that is an excellent segway into her essence...
My Anna was an empowered woman before it was cool. She was a missionary to Africa, she carried spears. She had a baby in the middle of nowhere by the headlights of a car. She knew insanely long patriotic poems by heart...and didn't just recite them by memory, she spoke them with passion and fire!
It never occurred to me that I couldn't do anything I wanted to do with my life, because she could do anything. She was strong. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. She could manage any crisis.
If my Papa was the peaceful, cool waters of life, my Anna was the fire and passion in life. They were a truly matched set. They were the perfect balance. My Papa knew what to say to soothe your soul. My Anna always knows what to do to smooth your path. She has the organization and the charisma to get ANYTHING done. Her personality has always been an all encompassing force of nature.
She knows how to appreciate the quality of something fine. And yet, that woman knows how to find a deal. She has always decorated a beautiful home, she plans a gorgeous gardens, she sets an amazing table. She cooks beautifully and deliciously. Her bread is still what I aspire to.
She taught a special needs, self-contained classroom for years, almost 40. (Before everything was considered a syndrome.) She expected...No...She DEMANDED their best. She demanded that they perform past their disabilities. There were no excuses. They were NOT allowed to use their disabilities as an excuse to dodge out of anything. They were expected to fight and use their abilities to show the world that they were the quality people she knew they were.
My Anna has always been a prolific letter writer. She has a brilliant command of the English language. She uses words like instruments to construct truly complex thoughts. She uses words to their fullest capacity. She loves them...and has passed that love affair with the words themselves to multiple generations. My mother. Myself. My children.
My Anna is a beautiful musician. She can make the music say things to your heart. She showed me though her own passion that classical music could speak every language...and had the deepest of souls... And the hymns....she always added depth to their music! It wasn't until I was older that I appreciated how much musical orchestration she adds to their simple structures.
She does not sit by and allow life to happen. She has always been involved and educated in politics. She types with mind-numbing speed. She joined the technological age with enthusiasm. Unlike many of her peers, she embraced the internet for its information and its social opportunities. She taught herself, she tutored her friends, she utilizes it for all its strengths...
Anna walked with gusto and power every night for years. Even Hurricane Gloria wouldn't dare to stop her. And even when it broke her arm, it certainly proved that it couldn't slow her down.
She has always taken it upon herself to make everyone the best they could be. She expected, demanded, and encouraged everyone's best. She has worked so hard for so long...
I find myself hoping that now that she doesn't need to care for Papa that she will take a little bit of time to care for herself. To smoothe out her own corners and needs. To maybe go back to writing, and books... To sit and talk to Jesus.