My beloved Grandmother

I’m packing to go on another trip. A task that I’ve gotten used to and one that I now dread.

While I was loading up my suitcase, I broke the clasp on my bag that I use to keep my toiletries in. Typically, I would have headed to my local Walmart and bought a new one. Instead, I decided to simply glue it back on.

While I was digging through an old box , searching for the super glue, I found a note that my grandmother had left for me. It was in an envelope of things that my sister sent to my daughter Louie. It’s in Gaelic so neither my sister, or Louie could read it. They just knew it was for me.

Funny, it’s addressed to “leanbh”. That roughly translates to “baby” and it’s what my grandmother always called me. It looks so much like my given name, though, that whenever they see it written they assume it’s just her way of writing my name.

I don’t speak Gaelic and I’ve never been very good at understanding it. Some words, my grandmother pounded into my head when I was a child.

Words like “purpose”, “love”, “God”.

The one that sticks out the most, though is, “bródúil”. Or proud. A word that only my grandmother ever used to describe her feelings towards me.

A long, long time ago my grandmother once told me I was the strongest in our family. That I was the reason she came to America. Even though she didn’t know which of her children would bear a child that would be worthy of a life here, she knew at least one would and that child was me.

My grandmother taught me how to fry eggs, how to use the toilet, and how to fight for what I believe in.

She was eager to hold my hand and hug my neck. Always freely giving me a kiss on the cheek and readily embarrassing me in front of my friends.

She accepted me for who I am. An independent, strong, God fearing lesbian. One with a big heart that is only overshadowed by my big ego, at times.

As I read this letter, I started to cry. Not because of what she said, but because she felt the need to tell me she was proud of me.

See…the only words I really understood were proud, love and fierce.

I thought it was her way of telling me, once again, that I was her “chosen one”

If I have any readers that can translate the old Gaelic, I’m sure I won’t do what she told me justice, so I apologize.

I decided to actually “translate” her words to me. So I could walk through life with her final words to me in my heart and head.

What I discovered was that she was trying to give me the type of advice that right this one moment in my life, I need more than anything in order to not lose faith.

I wish I had truly read what she wrote long before now!

“My sweet baby.
You are strong and fierce. I am so proud of you.
Let her be in control.
Just love her. Trust God to do the rest.
I love you.”

Funny words. But, trust me. Right now. They are exactly what I needed to hear!


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