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Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to tell your grandmother you love her

For a few years beginning when I was seven, I sent my grandmother original and incredibly awful poems I wrote just for her. While my mother ironed in the laundry room, I'd sit at the little desk just outside and type them on the old, black typewriter, the one you didn't even have to plug in.

My grandmother kept them all, of course. And when she died a few years later, my mother found the sheaf of them inside the hutch in Ocala and brought them home with the dishes she'd grown up with, her little silver mirror, and all her childhood photos.

One snowy afternoon when I was in my twenties and visiting, she made us Irish coffee and brought out the photos to show me, picture after picture of my beautiful mother before she was my mother. And then we found the poems again, and so we began to read them as best we could through laughter that left us in tears.

The worst stanza, which became a refrain of sorts, used regardless of lack of relevance whenever one of us wanted to make the other start laughing again:

When a woman grows old,
And she cannot be saved,
Do her bones grow cold,
As she lies in her grave?

The Story Hatchery was founded to give children and young adults a place to explore and tell their stories. We seek to help them learn to write through an organic, nourishing experience so they develop positive associations with the craft. We remove focus from a final grade, competition, and test scores.

The Story Hatchery, 1020 Brookstown Avenue, Suite 3
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