“You must train your intuition – you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide” – Ingrid Bergman
He suggested I write her a letter. Mind you, Gramma J has been dead for many years. Gosh, maybe 15 or more. Last time I “saw” her was when I visited her grave on my wedding day. Before going to the ceremony, I had the limo driver take me and my dad to her grave and I left her roses. I spoke with her and told her I missed her and wished she could be there with me. Honoring her grave site before my wedding was my way of having her there.
I still miss her.
I regret, deeply, not going to her when I was pregnant with my daughter. I believe in my soul she would have helped me. She would have taken me in.
My grandmother got pregnant with my father, out of wedlock (gasp!) in 1941. She spent ten years in war torn Poland as a single mom before getting passage to the US for herself and her first born child. She would have understood the fear, shame, emotion. I just know she would have. She had buried two husbands and had several homes in her name. She would have let me live in one.
But I never told her.
But I didn’t go to her. I got so wrapped up in the fear and wrath of my family I just kinda checked out. Went along with whatever anyone said or told me to do.
(I am sorry Gramma. I should have gone to you. I know you would have loved my little girl like you loved me. I am sorry I did not trust you. I know you liked him. I know you were friends with his Gramma. I am sorry.)
He told me to write her a letter and wait for a response. Yes, wait for a response from a dead woman. But that didn’t seem odd to me. I understood what he meant. A sign. A signal. Some indication of strength or hope. I knew exactly what he meant. A renewed vigor sent by my Polish Gramma.
When I was pregnant with my second child, my oldest son, my sister and I visited a medium. It was kind of a lark, a fun goofy thing to do one night. I do believe in psychic phenomenon but I also believe there are scammers and quacks. I take my visits to such people with a fair amount of skepticism.
This woman told me that my Gramma Julie was in the room. She said Gramma was happy about my pregnancy (I never told the woman I was pregnant and I was not visibly showing). I was startled. She continued. She went on and said that Gramma would make me a blanket for the baby. She wanted to send me a blanket. Again, a bit startling. My gramma spent hours and hours and hours crocheting afghans. If she was alive I know she would have made me several. Meh, lucky guess. Old ladies make blankets, right?
Many months after my son was born I received a package from CO. Inside the box was a small handmade blanket. It was sent by my grammas son, my uncle, whom I had not spoken to in years. How did he know I had a baby? Why did he send a hand made blanket?
Was it any coincidence that it was this very same uncle who helped me survive poverty in Chicago? The same uncle who lent me money after I lost my daughter so I could eat and have money to get back and forth to work and school? The same uncle whose hard earned money helped me pay one more months rent on a roach infested apartment in Chicago? Same uncle who enabled me to stop stealing cans of food from the wealthy Lincoln Park people I babysat for on weekends? (Campbell Soup cans fit nicely in my purse).
I don’t know. But yeah, it struck me. I looked to the heavens and thanked Gramma for the blanket.
Gramma has given me hope before. I suspect she will do it again. I am struggling these days. There is more than my share of drama and change underway and I am frequently weepy. I could use a good dose of Gramma’s strength. I might even don some of her old lady baubles that I still have. Big loud, colorful, delightfully tacky jewelry. Missing rhinestones, broken clasps and all. I need an amulet of sorts to carry around.
Off to write her that letter. I might even see her this weekend when I visit my parents. Its been a while. I hear her calling me.
(I am coming Gramma.)