My son texted me this morning, verifying the correct spelling of his paternal grandmother, Dorothy. He is honoring her as part of Cancer Awareness Month for his high school football program. She went to heaven five years ago; we miss her beyond words. Dorothy was her given name. Those who loved her called her Dot. We call her Dink.
My son’s text blessed me with a necessary pause in my day, to remember Dink – this magnificent person and mother-in-law and grandmother who was one of my best friends in the whole world.
I texted back:
I miss her. She taught us one of the very most important things there is to know in life: that love and family and loving others is the foundation to a life of purpose and fulfillment. She didn’t give a hoot about money… she knew where true treasure was to be found. She was one of the wisest people I know, and you are blessed to carry her genes within you. She still inspires me in ways no one else ever has. I pray you carry that in your heart, too. I pray you knew her long enough to internalize all she gave us… and to carry it forward.
My husband and his sister and father have called her Dink for as long as I’ve been a part of the family. The first time I heard it, I thought it a somewhat odd term of endearment… if not a little irreverent. But then I came to know her, and soon learned it was the perfect moniker.
Dink, true to the name she loved, was anything but self-righteous, self-important, self-centered. She never took herself or her problems too seriously. Instead she chose to devote all her energy and joy and time to others. It was a wonder to be on the receiving end of this… and once born, our boys were the grand recipients of heaping doses of that goodness. She called them her sunshines.
Which is the very thing that gives me pause this morning.
When you stop to think about it, it becomes quite clear: All we truly, deeply want in this world is someone to love us for who we are, where we are, as we are – to cheer us on when we’re up, hug us when we’re down, and celebrate the beauty of being family to one another. And so, in our striving to create, gain, materialize all that we believe is best for our children and their future, I smile in considering… all we really need (and need to be) is a Dink.
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