Transitions and Old Memories



This  card came back to me recently, with a handful of old photographs.

I made it for my grandmother, Grandma Florence, about thirty-five years ago. She had been ill, and was just coming home from the hospital in mid-February. The front of the card had a poem I’d written:

We searched the stores through and through

To find a Valentine for you.

We found “I love you”s and “Please be Mine”s

But they just don’t make “Get Well” Valentines,

And none of them said what we wanted to say

So we decided to tell you in a different way…

And there, inside the card, is my little family, arms outstretched, offering a big hug.

My little family.

I don’t think anyone embarks on the adventure of a marriage, ever imagining it will end.

We don’t have children imagining them hundreds or thousands of miles away, with troubles and difficulties you can’t simply fix with a kiss or a band-aid.

We don’t form friendships thinking of the end of those bonds.

We don’t take in dogs or cats or even short-lived gerbils imagining their demise.

Endings always take us by surprise.

If we knew the pain of change, transition, death…or, knowing it, if we allowed ourselves to dwell on it, I think we’d never allow ourselves the joy of new beginnings.

24 responses »

  1. What a fabulous way to think off someone. Aunt Florence is unforgettable – what a special lady. We were able to visit her a few times during her last few years. I still chuckle when the nursing home staff told us she leads the “Ann Lander’s question sessions” – a perfect fit indeed.

    • She certainly was a great lady, Caroline. In fact, yes, “fabulous” is the perfect word to describe her. I feel very fortunate to have known her.
      This card was in the little bundle of cards and photos that Brenda saved out from Mom’s things for me. All of it brought back lots of nice memories.
      Your Mom – another fabulous lady, in my book – has been on my mind a great deal lately, too. I don’t know why… but memories of her are always welcome visitors in my mind!
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Precious card. Small tears of joy/pain seeing your outstretched arms, the innocence of all it, wide open. I’m still voting for the joy of new beginnings, even with all the possible endings ready to stop at any moment.

  3. It’s true – if we ever knew the heartache we were in for we’d never experience unabashed joy. I love the picture of your little family; I’m sure your grandma was so happy to receive that card. 🙂

    • I think that’s why we tend to get a bit more cynical and protective of our feelings as we get older. We lose out that way, too, though, ’cause it’s in living wide open that joy finds us. Thanks, Sara, for your comments!

  4. Oh, Cindy, what a dear, dear card! And how precious that your grandmother saved it. I totally love finding things like this. And what a sweet little drawing of your family. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  5. One other thing. Is there any chance you could add the widgit that allows folks to follow by email? I generally don’t use the WP reader and don’t want to miss your posts. I know–I need to get with the 21st century and use the Reader. LOL

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