In my search for Ecuador (see yesterday's post), I unearthed some other treasures. One was a letter from my Grandma Brooke. Her given name was Clara Louise, but she always went by Louise. Though, my grandpa called her "Weezy." I am fortunate to have been named for her with my middle name being Louise.
Above is the back of the last letter I received from her. It was dated 4/29/1996. While the front is a bit about this or that cousin, the back is the piece I will cherish and stung my eyes with tears.
Seems as tho you are a busy girl. I feel like you are busy about all the time. I think of our days on the farm when you came down to visit. They were happy days for me & I am glad I have them to remember. Well I better close so I can mail this. Hard to tell where you will be but you'll get it someday. ha ha I think Amy is our Traveling Girl.
Well love to you
Think of you a lot
Love G-ma Brooke
In the midst of an abusive family situation, my dear grandmother was an oasis. We went to visit once or twice a month. At ten the abuse had escalated and I was sad and lonely and very, very quiet. You could barely get "Boo" out of me.
One day, I discovered that if I got up early and sat in the green chair outside her bedroom, she would look up and see me and get up. Together we would go into the kitchen. She would mix up a coffee cake and I would talk. It was as if all the words so carefully walled up in me just spilled out. While I never mentioned the abuse, she heard all of my childish dreams. I read quotes from books I was reading. I recited a poem. I told her about how Mrs. Richardson let us act out our fourth grade Ohio history lessons. I told her I liked Mrs. Richardson the best of all my teachers cause she reminded me of her.
For 15 or 20 minutes on those mornings, I had her undivided attention. It was a raft in a wild sea. Too soon I would hear my sisters' footsteps on the stairs and I would have to share my grandma.
Never underestimate the power of a few minutes undivided attention in the life of a child. It kept me afloat.
Yes, grandma, I remember those days too. You loved me well and I am a better person for it.