Do you know what's amazing? Two grandmas circling 90, with a few dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren between them, remembering to send a birthday card on time - nay - early, even!
Eleanor and Gail, two women who had their own set of dark curls back in the day. One gave me the strong will and the outspoken nature. The other gave me the maternal spirit (some might call it "fretting") and the super sensitive skin.
Apart from the curls they are as different as night and day, but I belong to them. I bear their image and carry their legacy. Resilience and hope, courage and humility, grace and mercy.
I don't think I deserve them. In fact, I know I don't. I don't send birthday cards, I can be ungrateful, I am impatient with my children, and I am prone to wander.
But they point the way. Imperfect and true. Vintage cursive loops of faith.
I open one of the cards and out drop a handful of pictures: me and my grandpa, grandma laughing, matching grandbabies in receiving blankets. Her gift to me on my 34th birthday.
I tell my sister and we sigh together, remember grandpa's laugh, think how perfect and generous it was for her to send them to me.
"Although..." my sister says, suddenly very suspicious, "I am kind of worried she's starting to dole out her precious belongings."
Well, yeah, there's that.