IT WAS AN HONOR TO KNOW YOU
When I sat down to write this, I was two paragraphs into a story about how much I love pizza and ate it almost every day while on vacation when my phone buzzed with sad news of my boyfriend’s grandmother’s passing.
I sat at my desk, silent tears welling in my eyes because she was so much more than my significant other’s grandma. She happened to be my best friend’s grandma also, and she was the unofficial matriarch of my church growing up. I had known her for as long as I could remember.
I always looked up to her. She sang loudly and proudly—although it was always off-key—to the hymns during church. She spoke her mind, even if it was blunt. She was true to herself and her convictions. I admired her from afar growing up.
As Austin and I started dating, I was excited to be invited to family parties at her house. She always made me feel welcome, like I was one of the family.
Her love of knitting and literature connected us. Austin would spend time visiting with her talking about books and what classic he should tackle next. And I’d ask her for knitting tips.
Just one week before her passing, Austin stopped over to chat with her. He said it was one of the best conversations they had ever had. Soon after that, her health started failing fast. We braced for the worst.
Within days, we heard the news that she had passed. Austin told me while I was at work. He was crushed. When I got home, I checked the mail as usual. A letter fell in the snow. As I picked it up, the tears started rolling down my face as I saw the return address. It was from her. He told me a few days earlier that she had mentioned wanting to send a letter to me about my writing.
Well, here it was. I read her kind words about my December Letter from the Editor in which I mentioned forgoing gifts in place of spending time with family—something she said she always had cherished.
At the end of her letter, dated Thanksgiving Day and then redated January 8—it wasn’t lost, just misplaced she wrote—she went on to say how happy she was that her grandson had found me. In that moment, I cried more. She really did see me as one of her own.
I knew I had to honor her in the best way I know how—dedicating my letter to her.
Until next month,
Kelsey Reinhart, editor
Dear Kelsey, Congratulations on your “About” Holiday Issue. The social scene in Stark County has its glitzy side, and you report the happy ingredients that make my generation smile—we enjoy it vicariously.
Your message was so timely, so welcome, reasoning to see gifting given a newer option—allowing our generosity to benefit the larger community.
For me, nothing hidden in glittering wrapping can compare to the joy of watching a loving relationship shared by a favorite grandson develop and grow.
Remembering that love is the best gift of all makes for a blessed future to be enjoyed by two very special souls—hold tightly to each other.
(This wasn’t lost—just misplaced!)