Always with Open Arms:
A Letter to Christine Bates

Photo by Nancy Wong

Dear Grandma Bates;

I remember you.

I remember you being kind, non-judgmental, just plain full of life and love.

I remember that you would invite me to come sit by your side. You would hold my hand, look me in the eyes, and ask, “So, sweetie, is everything okay with you?” I would respond with some little girl or adolescent nonsense. You always smiled back and listened intently to what I had to say. And you would always reassure me that everything was going to be just fine. “Don’t you worry so much now,” you would tell me with a hug. “You’re too young for those worries.”

I have thought of you often over the years. I always smile with my secret knowledge that I had you for a grandma. And grand you were. I am grateful to have known such as wonderful, loving person such as yourself. Thank you for sharing your love with me.

— Linda Mertle

(Linda Mertle is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. Her earlier writings appear here.)