in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m going to post one thing I am thankful for per day…I’d love to hear what you are thankful for too! here goes…
1) I am thankful for the years I was able to spend with my grandmother Deedles.
Deedles, who passed away almost four years ago at the age of 89, was the single most influential person in my life. She was the smartest, funniest, most capable woman I have every known. She was a poet, a writer, a gardener, an artist, a dancer, a seamstress and one heck of an ukulele player. She taught me to “never deny a generous impulse” – to act upon your most giving thoughts no matter how foolish you might look. And when, as a teenager, my grandparents would drop me off at the big middle school dance in the gymnasium, Deedles would always lean out the window, before driving away, and yell, “Dance with everyone!” And even though I didn’t actually dance with anyone and spent most of the time staring at the couples whose limbs were twined around each other, swaying in little circles to Corey Hart, I always loved that. I loved the image she had in her mind of me – dancing and laughing and having the time of my life. And that optimism, that joy, propelled me (once the braces were off and the perm grew out) to become someone who does dance with everyone both figuratively and literally and who remembers her, my Deedles, every day with a smile.
Since her passing, I have tried to explain our relationship to people who did not know its depth and intensity. I have often said, “she was always that person for me” hoping that the listener would understand in that simple phrase that Deedles embodied all I have ever wanted to be. She offered solace and wit. And I always knew that, no matter what, Deedles was absolutely crazy about me. What a gift to own that knowledge from an early age, and carry it still. she still informs my decisions and colors my judgement in the most wonderful way. and every generous impulse, every time I compliment someone’s hair or carry their groceries to the car or give freely of myself just in order to see someone smile, that movement, that joy is hers and mine to share.