My darling Lilli…when you get to be as old as your Mimmie, you might start to realize there are things you wish you’d said more intentionally to your own kids, a long time ago; or, at the very least, had just said them better. I heard once that grandchildren can be a kind of “do-over.” I don’t agree with that entirely, for you are not mine to raise, day in and day out. However, because I am removed from the constancy of your daily care, I think those things that need saying can rise more easily, and with greater clarity, to the top of my heart. It’s my hope that this letter (and the ones to follow in years to come) will help make your life’s road a little easier to travel.
Well sweetheart, today you are two years old. My mind can’t even fathom it, and yet, I just spent 10 days with you, and listened to you talk a mile a minute, watched you run like a big girl, and marveled at how quickly you learned to use the potty.
You are a sweet little girl, very polite, saying please and thank you, almost without fail. You genuinely love people and easily dissolve into delightful giggles. While you know what you want, and can flare up with a quick temper, it is also quick to dissolve. You are at an age of complete trust in those you love and total belief in what we say and do.
While there will always be a selfish part of me that wants to hold you back to the tiny little person you are, the one who lifts up her hands and says “I hug you, Mimmie,” and carefully lays her blanket and head in the crook of my neck, and says “sing” before nap time, I would never want you not to grow. I would never want you to stay babyish in your ways and not mature into who you were created to be. You were created for a specific purpose, Sunshine, and the events of your life will be stepping stones to its fulfillment. I’m excited to watch it play out.
But what I find that I can’t bear to see diminish is your exquisite innocence. There is a part of me that would like to whisk you off to live in a bubble, where the world, and its talons, couldn’t reach you. But I know that’s not possible. I can’t stop your eyes from seeing things they should never see, or your ears from hearing things they should never hear. In fact, by the time you read this, your mind will likely already have these fingerprints of the world all over it.
In spite of all that, however, it’s possible to maintain some innocence. After all, we are not of this world. We are just passing through, on our way Home. We are never really supposed to settle in and “do as the natives do.” Trust me when I tell you it will only lead to extreme heartache if you do.
How can you do that, you ask? Well, this is what God has to say about it:
…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…and the God of peace will be with you.
It’s all about what you put in your mind. THAT’S what keeps us set apart and maintaining some innocence in this crazy ol’ world. If you can keep your mind set on the good…the TRUTH…you’ll be right where God can help you fulfill your special purpose.
You are not mine to raise, my darling, but I do have some responsibility toward you, as your Mimmie. It’s my privilege to promise you a few things on this second anniversary of your birth:
- I will always pray for you. I always have and I always will.
- I will always listen to you.
- I will always be honest with you, and if I promise you something, I will fulfill it, unless I find that I made that promise in error, and it would ultimately do you more harm than good.
- When we are together, I will do everything in my power to create a positive atmosphere that will encourage you, and hopefully fill your mind with the things that God says will help you maintain some innocence and peace in your life.
- I will diligently try to show you the love of Jesus through my own love for you.
And, in my own way, maybe I can provide a bit of a “bubble,” after all.
Your Mimmie loves you, birthday girl…as big as the sky.
Oh, Melinda, this is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful Grandmother you are!! Lilli will absolutly treasure these letters! What gifts of LOVE they are!! I Love you my sweet daughter!!
Thanks, Mom. I’ve had a great example of a good grandmother in you. 🙂
So precious are your thought and prayers, Melinda. I am expecting my first grandchild this year, and my thoughts follow yours. ~ yvonne
I’m so excited for you Yvonne! It is the absolute BEST.
I wish everyone had such sage advice and heartfelt letters from their grandmothers. Lilli is a very lucky girl to have such a sweet Mimmie! 🙂
Thank you darling girl. You are a treasure.
Out of the ABUNDANCE of the Heart–the fingers write 🙂
Beautifully written as always friend. Lilli will treasure these!
“Out of the abundance of the heart…” My goodness, but isn’t THAT the truth?? Thanks for your ever-encouraging word.
What a gift of peace wrapped in love! His …and yours… to all precious children. “My peace I leave to you.”
Beautifully composed as always, Melinda!
Thank you sweet friend!
Love love love this Melinda! This is a post that I have printed out to keep for my own future reference. Oh lady – you are gifted at the words. 🙂
And what a sweet little pea she looks and sounds like!
Thank you Missy! You are very sweet. 🙂
So much truth served up here, Melinda. I, too, can attest to the fact that innocence flees all too quickly. Oh, I pray your precious two year old bundle of sunshine will always follow hard after Jesus, for that is the way of true purity.
Melinda, Beautiful…..I felt every word….I too write letters to my littles….they are little and then overnight they are 13 like Parker….
Melinda…such a beautiful gift you are giving to sweet Lilli. I know she will treasure them. My grandmother will be 90 on Tuesday and she is such a huge part of me. There is a bond between us like no other. She has loved me like no one else has and taught me so many things about strength and love.