© 2011 . All rights reserved. Grandma's Iron Bed

A Letter to My Grandma

Dear Grandma,

If I have been rich in anything in this life, it has been grandparents. Two sets of grandparents and three sets of great-grandparents were there to greet me when I came into this world, and I remember all of them, though one of my maternal great-grandfathers died when I was quite young. You and Grandad and my other grandparents lived just across the road, then when we moved you were just across town from me, and in our tiny town that wasn’t far away!

You are now the last grandparent I have left, and as I think back to the ones that are no longer here I am grateful for the flood of sweet memories I have in my memory bank. Remembering my mother’s grandparents brings to mind gentle images of hands crocheting cotton doilies, Sunday morning church services, eggs in the chicken house, larkspur blooming in a fenced yard. Thinking of your parents brings to mind the smell of honeysuckle on the porch trellis, silver dollars for the all the great-grandchildren at our annual Christmas Eve gathering, lemon drops in their candy dish on the dresser. This weekend’s estate sale of my maternal grandparents’ remaining belongings was a bittersweet marathon of memories, reminding me of the blessing of living within walking distance of them for most of my fifty years of life.

I have thought a lot lately about how grateful I am to have had all of these people in my life, and I have thought a a lot about you in particular. I have always been intrigued by the stories of how you began your life in a half-dugout, wearing your father’s handkerchief for a diaper because you were so tiny at birth. That picture of frailty and vulnerability never matched the image of the energetic, tough grandmother I knew. Strength and resilience were present in you from the beginning I suppose, since you survived and thrived despite your challenging start.

I never knew what you might be up to when I arrived at your house. If it was lunch time you would probably be cooking up a meal for the who-knows-how-large crowd you might have at your house at meal time, but other times I was just as likely to find that you were repairing a fence, milking the cow or plowing a field. Much of your life was spend tending to children, but I also saw you faithfully care for your aging parents as well. Versatile and flexible are both words that describe you pretty well.

As I think on all the acivities I remember watching you engage in over the years it occurred to me that I never remember seeing you do anything for the purpose of drawing attention to yourself. Holidays were about enjoying people, not impresssing them. You never seemed to mind how many extra people tagged along with us to be a part of your celebrations, there was always room for one more.

My father is one of the most generous people I know, and I believe he absorbed this trait from your example. Anyone that admired something you owned quite often found themselves the recipient of that thing shortly afterward. The iron beds in my garden are just one example of something you freely gave away because you knew it would make me happy. You were never a person that really needed material things to be satisfied, so it is not surprising that it was easy for you to part with them.

A favorite memory of you my children like to recount is the day one of them arrived for at visit at your house to find you at your computer playing a video game that featured flying dinosaurs. They love to talk about the way you coached them on how to play the game, telling them just what to do to accomplish the task of flying the dinosaurs and “picking up those eggs”. I think they love this story so much because they recognize what a wonderful achievement it is to have adapted to the tremendous amount of change that has come your way since beginning your life on a Colorado homestead. They see how you have faced the events of your life with courage and a willingness to adapt.

I have no doubt that you will continue to face any new challenges that come your way with the same courage and toughness you have shown in the past. You are an amazing woman, and I am thankful to have the gift of your name and your example.





  1. Laura Kay
    Posted 24 Oct ’11 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    We can learn a lot from looking back at our heritage, and what’s truly important in life – Wonderful memories. What a great gift of expression in writing you have, Laura. Thanks for sharing!

    • john
      Posted 2 Jul ’12 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      i love my grndmom but she is so far away from me

    • Posted 21 Jul ’16 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good artlcie.

    • Posted 9 Sep ’16 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      All-in-one office that opens up to reveal adjustable shelving, letter-size filing drawer, ample work surfaces and room for the CPU, screen and printer. It closes up into a cabinet. Cherry finish, built-in lamp. Approx 41″w x 19″d x 71″h when closed. Asking $140. Call 250-498-0754.

    • Posted 25 Oct ’16 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been seeing that plane alot recently. I hate it. Do you know if they’ve painted any of Continental’s 767-400ER’s? There’s rumors of them scraping them because they’ve been having problems and they’re not making the revenue that’s expected. I also heard that United is getting ready to put winglets on their 67′s. That would be kinda kool.

    • Posted 2 Nov ’16 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Well, if you know the two texts well, you’ll know a lot changed in the texts from 1549 to 1552. I really like what you have pointed out, thanks. I will have to think further about this. Blessings.

    • Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Wow Cheryl…..Thank you for sharing this. You and I shared a brief exchange through a B-school post not long ago and who knows maybe we are sisters from another mother because our messages and experiences are so intuned with each other. We definitely need to connect more in depth at some point. I truly know and understand the importance of being true to your own inner quest and sometimes there will be people we love that can’t walk beside us. I will definitely check out your book. I am in the process of writing my own book about my experience as well.

    • Posted 30 Dec ’16 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Anyone know the correct ohms of the 3-inch Jensen P3VH speakers/tweeters used in the Premier Model 71 amps from the mid-1950s? Any schematics showed up for one of these amps? Thanks.

    • Posted 30 Jan ’17 at 4:59 am | Permalink

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  2. LaDonna
    Posted 25 Oct ’11 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Laura — You are an inspiration! You constantly amaze me with your insight, your positive outlook, your strength and your spirituality. I cherish your friendship. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us. Love you!!!

  3. Mom
    Posted 25 Oct ’11 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Your dad and I have often wondered how the beautiful daughter you are came to be from the two of us. Now I understand that just as you have the names of both grandmothers you are also the product of the many wonderful persons who came before us.

  4. Posted 27 Oct ’11 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    wow, i didn’t know either of my grandmothers like you have described…i love reading all that God has given you in your experiences with your grandparents!! You are part of them and have passed it down to your children and they will see it as they reflect on life as you have here. thank you!! i love it!!

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