Dear Atticus, on Grammy

I know I said that I was going to have my mom write to Atticus instead of me telling Atticus about her, but I found I had a few things to say after all.

Atticus in July

Dear Atticus,

I have been paying attention over the past 10 months, and I have come to believe that we are missing the mark when we talk about God’s love being that of a father. If your relationship with Grammy is any indication, God’s love is surely more like that of a grandmother. Not the indulgent grandmother who is so often portrayed on TV, but the gentle one who loves you like crazy, has stores of patience, and wants the best for you. (The aforementioned grandmother also lives in a different house, so she is less tired overall than your poor parents.) The Bible says that God delights over us, and, oh, I love you, Atticus, but no one is more delighted by you than Grammy is.

I should have guessed this from my own experiences with your Great-Grandma, a wise, patient, and gentle woman who still makes caramel cake when she knows I am going to be around. But I had a lot of cousins, so, even though I knew I was special to my Grandma, I didn’t realize just how much she loves me. Not until you were born and I saw you with your Grammy.

I have been trying to think of a story to tell you that would capture the essence of who your Grammy is, but the stories couldn’t capture her presence, her gentleness, her kindness, or the way that she makes people feel secure. Perhaps it is enough to say that Grammy has been the embodiment of grace for me this year. She has taken every opportunity to provide me with rest, whether it’s having you over for the night, giving me time for a nap, providing us with food, or folding the laundry. (And you make a lot of laundry.) I hope that I am smoothing some of my rough edges as I try to be gentle with you as she was with me. As she still is with me. As she is with you.

Your face lights up when Grammy walks into the room, and sometimes when she says goodbye, you follow her to the door. The joy you take in each other gives me glimpses of the promise of the future, things like patience and reinvention and redemption. I have seen my mother lose her joy, Atticus, and I have seen you bring it back to her just by being who you are. For this, especially, I am grateful.


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