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The Mail Sends Its Blessings

August 6, 2011

I have to admit that I left my house grumpy this morning.  I was grumpy that I was waking up early.  Grumpy that I was leaving to attend a class I felt incredibly insecure about.  Grumpy that I wasn’t confident in my abilities in said class.  And I was grumpy on a non-school level too. I had checked a fellow writer’s blog this morning and noticed the infinite number of readers she had.  I noticed the overwhelming number of comments.  I noticed that her readership and comments were in the triple digits, and mine barely broke out of the singular.  I left my house this morning feeling personally and professionally insecure, unsure of myself, and albeit, a little jealous that someone was out there accomplishing things I wanted to be accomplishing.  I got in my car, turned up the country music radio, and tried to convince myself that I was fine.  But truth be told, I wasn’t.  Lack of confidence is not a color I wear well.

I sat through my class and its continual reminders that there is so much I don’t know.  I sat through my class and watched others perform flawlessly, speak eloquently, and discuss topics with the vocabulary I knew the professor was looking for.  Words rolled off their tongues while I just sat and drank my water.  I thought about where I could interject, but held back.  My mind drifted to my writing, but that was a stumbling block too.  For some reason I couldn’t get the feeling of inadequacy from the other blogger out of my mind.  Would I ever have as much to offer as she does?  Would I ever find my niche, like she has?  Am I saying anything valuable in this little space?  I stopped my thoughts and clued back into class.  Still nothing I could chime in on.  I continued to sip my water.

I came home.  I dropped my bags on the floor, said hello to my husband, and perused the pile of mail on the kitchen table.  Bills, magazines, junk mail – the usual.  I found an envelope with my name on it, and the unmistakable penmanship of my grandmother.  I smiled.  I love Grandmom cards – they never fail.  I slit open the envelope expecting something from Hallmark or Shoebox to cheerfully greet me.  I expected a colorful cardboard fold to fall into my hands.  But instead I pulled out pieces of lined notebook paper.  Just 2 pieces of plain lined paper, filled with her looping cursive.

It was the most beautiful 2 pieces of paper I have ever received.  2 pieces of paper telling me she loves me.  Reminding me and reassuring me of how very special I am to her.  2 pieces of paper to let me know I am prayed for, I am cared for, and that I matter to her.  I inspire her.  My writing lifts her spirits.  I started crying like an insecure teenager – how silly that an adult should so desperately need that kind of encouragement.  But need it I did.  And today, of all the days for that letter to come, was the day I needed her words the most.  How did she know?  How did she know that if I put her 2 pieces of lined paper into my near-empty cup, that it would suddenly overflow with blessings?  How did she know that the most important writing I would see today would not be from research papers for class or from well-respected blogs, but rather from her hands as she wrote to me from her kitchen table?  How did she know?

It’s funny how the mail brought this blessing today.  It’s funny how it carried this precious gift into my home, into my spirit, into my heart.  Perhaps if I had given pause for just one moment this morning, it wouldn’t have been hard to remember what really matters, and who I matter to.  It wouldn’t have been hard to remember that amidst graduate school and writing and working and teaching and growing –  “without love, I gain nothing.”

I have love.  I have gained everything.

Thank you, Grandma.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 7, 2011 10:51 am

    Lauren – I’m so glad that you got that letter. I’m glad that your grandmother’s words were able to pour into you. Know that your words – but more importantly, your self – inspire me. I wish there was a way to measure and tell you back how your words shape the people who read them. But that’s the mystery of writing – it’s not how many people read, but how the people who read are changed. And we are. In such good ways.

    Love,
    Hilary

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