As my thoughts propel through barren trees, the chill of a Northern Georgia winter diminishes. My heart travels on wings of love across four states to northwest Ohio where I picture two of my granddaughters, ten year-old Nora and 8 year-old Samantha, fastening their seat belts in their dad’s dated van. Off these resilient young ladies go to their hip hop and jazz dancing lessons while their same-aged stepbrothers are scurried in another direction.
My younger son, 49, a bearded bear and a vivid storyteller, fosters fierce grandparent bonds and tends a family legacy. He remains in the frigid north to ensure he is an integral, stable part of his daughters’ lives.
“Hi, Grandma Asher.” I melt when these words greet me each time they phone.
“What are you doing this afternoon?” I ask when the girls called to thank me for coloring books. “We are going to Poppy’s. He isn’t feeling well.”
Tonight, I will craft a “C” poem on decorative paper and I will post tomorrow for weekend receipt. Enclosed will be two sheets of paper, suggested letters of the alphabet for a poem written in different script, and two self-addressed stamped envelopes. I delight in creating a collage of the girls’ poems and sweet notes that come back to me- sunshine in my mailbox.
When distance-induced heartache surfaces, I giddily send surprise packages. Sometimes I compose “fill-in-the-blank” letters and send them off - also with a SASE. I have learned to ask at the end of each letter, “What haven’t I asked you that you would like to tell me?” About my new haircut, one tells me.
At other times, my heart spills over in when I meet a young mother in the check-out line and ask how old her child is. I recently asked a mom at Michael’s if I could treat her child to something extra as I would if I my grandchildren were near. Gratefully, I had that pleasure.
Dance recitals are calendared for June. Will I be in the audience? Perhaps. Whether I make the drive or not, I will always be in my granddaughters’ balcony, cheering them on.
Through the barren trees, my echo carries. Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?
Evelyn Asher is a business coach and poet who yearns to take her family on a Custom Sailing cruise.