I’m writing this to you as part of a shared spiritual exercise with a blogger on the Pagan portal. I’m certain you, if you were today as you were in 1972, would not approve. But somehow I can’t help but think that if you were today as you most certainly would have become, then you would, somewhat bemused, be cheering me on. (Though I’d have to grant that some of those who call you their ancestor would most certainly disagree – but then, you know me?) Why do I say that you would cheer me on? Because it is from you that I got my willingness to look at matters spiritual with a fresh mind – always looking for what is real, what is at the heart of what we both call gospel. That is of course the grace of God’s love that floods into this world. I’ve come to understand that in ways you might not have grasped but that is all about the generations, yes? For evolution was only at the edges of your awareness when you were growing, when you were being formed. Dad says you were a “fundamentalist who had no problem with the theory of evolution.” I don’t know why he says that since that isn’t possible for a thinking person and you were above all else a thinking person. I think what he’s getting at is that you were open to understanding the beauty of God’s creation and if the theory of evolution was part of God’s creation, well then, you were going to stand in awe and wonder as you beheld the glory of God. By now I see the movements of evolution as animating the entire Cosmos from quarks to human consciousness and who knows what else. I even see it in the central motif of our faith – cross and resurrection. From what is old and beautiful to what is new and more beautiful still. This is the movement of the generations and I’m so grateful to have been formed in part by you and those that formed you. This may seem an odd way to write a love letter to the woman who so consistently gave me my sense of self, who so consistently showed interest and care. Even now I can hear you say, “Oh did you ever? Well what do you think of that?” Even now while I’m talking about these things what would surely have seemed foreign to you. But then you would smile and wait for the next thing I might say that you would most certainly enjoy even as you’d ask some penetrating question to teach me how to think – not to control what I thought, but to teach me how to think. It’s that love I live off of now – a love I know was founded deep in the I AM you knew so well. (I still have your clock, the one that was always stopped on your bedroom wall because when you got up to pray every night at 3 AM I know you stopped it because it made too much noise. I love that clock.) I live off the love you gave to me, that you built me with, because change is in the air, because what I was taught turns out not to be true, at least not in any literal sense so I need to know that I can look for what is real in other places and still remain me somehow. It’s your love, your continued presence for me even as I shift and change, was solid and makes me feel grounded – not alone. A fundamentalist who had no problem with evolution? Thanks for that Grammy. You would not believe the permission it gives to me as I seek what you always sought, the love of the one who animates life and calls from us the very best of who we might become. “Yes, yes,” you would say if I could still sit on your lap today at Toby. “It’s all so beautiful.” I wouldn’t know that if you hadn’t shown me. I love you Grammy. I miss you.