today, my 95 year old grandmother shocked the hell out of me.  she is not known in my family for her kindness or generosity—she stopped giving gifts to her grandchildren roughly 25 or 30 years ago.  and even then, we received $20 savings bonds or something like that.  not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but a savings bond isn’t something i got excited about as a child.  i wanted a new cabbage patch doll or a strawberry shortcake something-or-other…not a piece of paper that said i couldn’t get my 20 bucks for several more years.


well, grandma must have sensed my resentment because she stopped giving those out, too.  i have very few memories of receiving much of anything from her in my lifetime…to be fair, i did receive a cross pen and pencil set from my grandma and grandfather on two different occasions (eighth grade and high school graduations, i think).


matter of fact, when my mom died she and my dad were living with and caring for my grandma in my grandma’s home (ironically my 95 year old grandma has far outlived her 61 year old daughter)…my sister and i helped my dad by sorting through my mom’s things—this was a big job, as my mother’s motto, as accurately articulated by my sister, was, “if one is good, two is better.”  we had a lot of crap to sort through…and we found some treasures, too.


anyway, as my sister and i were going through her things, occasionally we’d find something that would be perfect for one of our brothers to have, since they weren’t exactly going to be into wearing mom’s clothes like my sister and i did for comfort, especially in those early days.  we came across a set of kitchen canisters that we thought would match my brother and sister-in-laws kitchen decor.  after we sent them off to my brother, my sister received word through an aunt that my grandma was miffed that we took her canisters and that we needed to return them. 


she was 91 years old at the time and had not left her kitchen table—much less baked anything—for about 10 years!  but she needed those stupid canisters back in her storage room because they were hers.  and this is just one example.


so, as you can see, she just isn’t the most giving, generous person in the world.  by a long shot.


you can imagine then, my absolute shock when i received a note from her in the mail today……..with a check for a substantial chunk of moolah tucked inside.  i immediately teared up—my grandma isn’t like other grandma’s…she doesn’t give me anything….what is going on here?!


well, i called her up to thank her and she said, “i figured your generation needs the money more than i do…i thought you all [her grandkids] could use a boost right about now.”


um, yes, i can use a boost—so can our emergency fund, which i’ve been recently fretting over now that it seems our little one might really make it to full term.  and grandma did just that.  at 95 years old, she did something previously utterly uncharacteristic of herself…..she acted in generosity and kindness….for no other reason than to give her grankids a boost.


after the immediate shock and surprise wore off, i began to feel the familiar sadness of really wishing i could tell my mom about this.  she would NEVER believe her mother did such a thing.  NEVER.  i can just hear her gasp in disbelief in my imagination!


i learned an amazing lesson today…it’s never too late for someone to turn toward kindness…if my 95 year old, notoriously stingy grandma can do such a thing, anyone can!


what a great surprise.