My mother is affectionately known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as GiGi. She chose the name when her first grand-child was born in 1972 - it's short for "Gorgeous Granny" . . . a moniker which I believe becomes even more apropos with each passing year.
Our culture's emphasis on physical appearance might cause some to dispute my claim and a quick look at a photo of her seventy-five years ago would lend credence to their conclusion; a few scholars might even opine that she has entered the seventh of Shakespeare's life's ages... and were I objective, I would agree on some level with both - but I'm not!
That said, as I watched my mother interact with our daughter's children, Grace and Drew, while celebrating her ninety-fourth birthday, I caught myself considering her legacy - not the disposition of her few tangible possessions, but her influence on future generations - and realizing I was witnessing a small sampling of it. A day or so later I took stationery in hand to pen the following letter.
Dear Grace and Drew,
Each time I see you, I'm reminded again that you're no longer children; but this visit I was struck by how mature you're becoming.
Maturity . . . it's not measured in terms of height and weight; rather it's a function of characteristics more difficult to quantify, the presence of which time does not guarantee. Maturity . . . it's a big word that embodies even bigger attributes: patience in the presence of older folks who seem to prattle on and on about inconsequential things; a slower gait when accompanying one whose quicker days are long past; a multifaceted empathy when confronted with age-related difficulties; and lastly for now, an increasing awareness of a hug's value.
Your presence was a gift to me but it was an even greater blessing to my mother - know that you touched GiGi in very special ways, mature ways; and I thank you for doing so! Never doubt God's love for you or mine.