A student shares with me about “Camp Grandma.”
Every year, she invites all of her “5-years old and older” grandchildren to spend one week at her home. She sets up an arrangement of tents all over the yard, as well as a huge canopy for “base camp.” They cook, they play, they do all kinds of great stuff, and when they leave, she sleeps for thirteen hours straight. She tells me that this is the only way for some of the kids to get to know their cousins. She tells me that her own grandma inspired her to do this, and so she does.
I think of my mom who did not know most of her grandkids’ birthdays and who had warned me, years before I had my first child that she had done enough for hers and would not be caring for mine. She did a good job of staying true to her word.
Having dinner with a close friend in Seattle, last week. He tells me about his dad whose brain has been changing dramatically and I hear once more that my friend has been the best of sons and companions. Then I hear about the gift of healing and the gift of family. My friend’s dad and his mom have been divorced for many years. When the older man needed a place to rest after surgery in the city where the mom lives, both he and my friend were welcome with open arms into her home. She cared for him as a cherished family member.
My heart soaked that up to the last drop.
As I get ready to welcome pieces of the eclectic puzzle of my own family into my home this week (and as I get ready to sorely miss some parts, also) I drink both of the stories in. Both stories of giving, of loving, of welcoming, and of letting our hearts guide us into making sure the people who matter to us know that they do.
We may sleep for thirteen hours when it’s all over, and it will be well worth it.
Whether you are surrounded by lots of faces or whether yours is a very calm holiday (these can be very sweet, too. Last year I was alone on top of a little medieval village in Southern Italy, and enjoyed my quiet inner gratitude) I wish you much love in your heart. And a deep knowledge that YOU MATTER.