I took dinner out to my maternal grandmother tonight. Thursday's are my night to take dinner into her. We (my mom, sisters and sister's in law) take a different night of the week to fix her dinner. She will be 90 on Valentines Day 2002. She is doing amazingly well. She doesn't drive any more but she still works in her garden and around the yard. Anyway McKenna, my four year old daughter, came with me to deliver dinner. We did a drive by dinnering because we still had other places to go. But we went in and gave her hugs and kisses and chatted for a minute.
As we were walking out the door grandma said to take the newspaper that was sitting by the door and drop it off to my dad. As we were driving away McKenna asked why grandma was sending the paper to my dad. I told her it was because she couldn't read it very well because her eyes didn't work as well now that she was old. Then McKenna asked me a question that brought tears to my eyes. "Old like the spider, mom? Old like Charlotte?" She was talking about Charlotte the spider from Charlotte's Web I couldn't answer her because I was choked up. Then she asked "Is she going to die?" When I finally found my voice I told her that yes one day we all die.
"But little kids don't die. Right mom?" That was a question that I didn't think could be answered while driving in a car, her in the back seat and me in the front. I will answer that one later.
As I had time to ponder her question about Charlotte and how it related to my grandmother I realized just how much my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers and all women are like Charlotte.
We all do some pretty amazing things during our lives.
Sometimes the world sits up and takes notice and sometimes they don't but the things that go unnoticed are just as amazing, and most times more so, than those that are noticed.
Everyone paid attention to what Charlotte wrote in her web. It was out there for all to see and it saved the life of her friend, Wilbur. But she considered her greatest accomplishment to be her egg sac, her family, her posterity.
"This is my egg sac,
my magnum opus,
my great work,
the finest thing I have ever made."I know that I have been amazingly blessed to have six beautiful "Charlotte's" who have influenced my life (there are many more "Charlotte's" that I know but I choose to focus on the ones that are dearest to me). First and foremost my mother, then two incredible biological grandmothers, an amazing mother-in-law and two wonderful grandmothers by marriage. The time is coming, not far off, when some of my "Charlotte's" will no longer be where I can be with them physically. My paternal grandmother's 85th birthday is coming up in March of 2002 and yet it is highly unlikely that she will celebrate that day.
But I will celebrate. I will celebrate all of these women because even though most of their works were not held up for the whole world to see, they will be held and treasured and kept by me, in my heart. I will carry them through the years and hopefully pass them on to my children. For I know that my six "Charlotte's", like the one created by E.B. White, hold their families to be their greatest accomplishments.
And that, I believe, is as it should be.