Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Grandmother's Birthday Wishes

My life has orbited around Rylee since she was born on New Year's day 2008. Since then, we let her stay up every New Year's eve to blow out her candles at midnight. 

For the first time in five years she's away having the time of her life with her daddy in Arizona. Can I just tell you how utterly lost I've been? Think of Sandra Bullock in the movie Gravity whirling around in space. 

I've told everyone around me that being a Grandma is painful and letting go is excruciating. Believe me, I didn't expect to feel this; nor do I wish it upon anyone. But her happiness means more to me than my own so I'm happy she's spending quality time with her daddy. 

Rylee's presence in my life reminds me to view the world with delight because every new day holds promises. With eager expectation she knows good things are coming and that's a breath of fresh air when depression plagues most of us adults, myself included. 

I love our Grandma and Rylee times when she's sitting across from me during dinner and we have thought-provoking conversations. Her childlike questions resets my skewed view of life. 

I love her excitement to go to bible school and how she tells me she wants to make Jesus happy. Isn't that how we're supposed to live every day? 

I love the candid, forthright, statements that come out of her mouth. In her outspoken way she'll tell me as I'm just stepping out of the shower, "You're wrinkly!" Or, when she catches me doing bicep curls and she scrunches her nose with disgust and says, "You look like a man! Like a handsome Jesus!" 

Just recently we were sitting in the backseat of my car when my sister looked at us in the rearview mirror and commented on how she could pass for my daughter. With a loving expression I looked at Rylee and told her we had the same chin. And just like that she felled me with one sentence---No we don't, yours is hairy mine isn't! 

One day she was sharing with Ray and me what she learned in bible study. She learned the Bible shows us there is light in the darkness but she was skeptical. There's no light in the Bible, because when you open it there's no light. 

What can I say to that? 

She turns six years old today. When did that happen?  Since she could now read my birthday wishes for her I will write it in a way she can understand. I'll let her read them when she comes home next week. 

And for all of you grandparents out there who live far away from their grandchildren, I feel your turmoil! I really, really do! 

Dear Rylee Bear, 

Yes, yes, I know. Ray calls you Rylee Bear. I miss you a lot! And it hurts really bad in my stomach. I'm so happy when you facetimed your Mommy and saw you playing in the snow. I've never seen you so happy! 

I know you have so many Christmas and birthday presents and I can't wait to see them. I bet you made everyone happy in Arizona because you're good at doing that. Even when you're cranky and mad and sticking your tongue out at us. 

My birthday wish for you is that you never ever change. I love you just the way you are because you show me all the simple, beautiful things in the world. You point out the flowers I don't notice on the trees. You tell me how much you love your mommy and it's so good to see that. 

I know sometimes we tell you not to say things but only when its mean. But I never want you to stop speaking up or saying what you mean. Your voice is precious and I'm glad you're not afraid to speak up. 

You asked me why bad things happen to people and I said it's life. You asked why and I didn't really know what to say except that life is always good and bad. You make Grandma think for an answer and that's good. 

Because of you, Grandma knows some of the One Direction songs and the names of the boys. And because of you I listened to KOST 103.5 and Christmas songs for the first time in over 16 years. See, you do good things! 

You also make me happy every day and spending time with you is fun. I can't wait for you to come home and you can tell me everything you did and everything you saw in Arizona. You are the best thing that's happened to all of us. Grandma loves you, Ray loves you, we all love you, but most of all, like you always tell me, God loves you! 

Happy 6th Birthday, Rylee!!!! 

Love, Grandma Nette