It’s hard to give my grandparents presents these days. They say they don’t need or want anything in particular. I don’t know what kind of books they read. I hardly see them, and I probably talk to them on the phone once or twice a year. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, it’s just that the forms of communication that fit into my lifestyle, the ones I use to keep in touch with friends all over the world (IM, e-mail, late phone calls after evening minutes kick in on both our cell phones) don’t really fit into their lifestyle. They don’t have a computer, and although they do have a cell phone (on the same network as me, so we could talk free), they never turn it on. So we don’t have that much contact, which is too bad, because they’re getting up there, and who knows how much longer they’ll be around for me to talk to.
These are my grandparents, Bob and Jean.
They’re the only grandparents I have. They’re actually my step-mom’s parents, but they’ve been around since I was eight, so they count. My dad’s parents both passed away by 2001. My biological mom’s family … well, I don’t know much about them at all.
So this Christmas I gave my grandparents a Circle Journey Journal. I started it with a little note and a specific question for each of them. To be honest, when they called to thank me for it, they didn’t seem too excited.
“I haven’t written a letter in years,” my grandmother said. “And your grandfather, he hardly ever did! But I guess we’ll have to get to work on it.”
All my grandfather said was, “What an unusal gift.”
I didn’t think they liked it, but at least they seemed to appreciate the spirit of the gift.
Well, they actually did sit down and write answers to my questions, and I finally got the book in the mail a couple days ago. It was so exciting to get real mail! It wasn’t a bill, or something I ordered online, or junk mail, or a magazine. It was real mail! And their letters were great. I was even excited to write back to them and answer the questions they asked me.
And even better than getting real mail, I actually learned something about my two wonderful grandparents. Something that you wouldn’t just know about them by looking at them. Something about how they think, how they thought when they were younger, what the experiences in their lives have been.
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