Monday, May 11, 2009

A Letter from Mimi

Last week, as I was leafing through one of my many books that I have started in the past but never finished, I noticed a letter stuffed in the middle of the book. The letter was in an envelope and there was a simple "Shawn" scribbled on the outside. Immediately recognizing the distinguishable handwriting, I eagerly pulled the letter out.

Sure enough, it was from my grandmother (who we call "Mimi") - my only living grandparent. The letter was dated August 26th, and though there was no year given, based on what she wrote, I know it was from 2001. I was just about to head to Scotland to serve as a Student Missionary for a year and she was sending me off with well wishes.

What is so significant about this letter is that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's the next summer. And now, seven years later, I am not sure if she really even recognizes me anymore when I see her. It has been a constant struggle for our family, of course (all of whom are very close), and it seems as though she gets worse and worse by the day.

I shared the letter with my mother this past weekend, when she was visiting for Mother's Day. Tears immediately came to her eyes. She informed me that she had not been able to find any letters from her mother. Quite obviously, reading something from her mother when she was still "with it" was highly significant.

I want to share that letter with you. It probably won't mean as much to anyone who reads it, but I hope you can still appreciate its significance. Particularly touching - especially in retrospect - is the last sentence of the first paragraph.

I cannot wait for the day when Mimi's memory will be turned on and she will fully be able to recognize and appreciate the company of all her family again - just as I cannot wait to see my grandfather alive very soon as well (and meet my other grandfather for the first time, alongside my grandmother who passed away nine years ago). May we all do all that we can to hasten that day.

(Click on the image below for a larger image)


Anonymous said...

Shawn I have to say this brought tears to my eyes too. Grandparents are such special people. I don't know your grandma well but when she would come and stay with the Copsey branch she was always very kind and sweet to me. My own grandma had a stroke in 2007 and her once beautiful handwriting is hard to read now.I treasure the letters I got from her when I was away in Academy. She is very weak and has heart problems too now. Its bittersweet remembering all the amazing times together, and wondering now, how many are left. Jesus can't return soon enough...


Staci said...

That is a sweet letter, Shawn. I am visiting my only living grandparents in Flagstaff, AZ right now. I treasure the times with them. You can be thankful your grandmother is a Christian. I am praying mine will become one while she still has a good mind.

Shawn Brace said...

Hello Rachael and Staci,

Thank you so much for your kind words! I am glad you can relate to my thoughts, in some ways, about my grandmother. Rachael, praying that all goes well with your grandma. And, Staci, I pray that yours will come to know the Lord!