Things I’d Tell My Grandma Evelyn

For some reason, as I’ve grown older, my comfort zone seems to have gradually gotten smaller.

Maybe it’s hormonal? Maybe it just happens to some folks with age? Maybe it’s something else?

All I know is that when I think about my comfort zone nowadays, I think of it as being a bit on the small side- and I don’t like that. It’s edges feel harder and closer in than they used to- and I don’t like that either.

At some point, as my comfort zone shrunk, I decided that there wasn’t room for airplanes inside it anymore…so out they went. No more flying for me.

But here’s the thing. The more I Grow, the more I really, really know that there’s evidence of God’s love and salvation in each and every day…even the hardest, most personal of ones.

So as we fly to Peru today, November 12, 2012– I’ll take comfort in those evidences, and I’ll try with all my might to be optimistic about the chance to soften and expand a few edges along the way, too.

Dearest Grandma Evelyn,

It just occured to me that when someone passes away, you tend to stop writing them letters, and the longer you stop writing them letters, the harder it is to start up again.

I’m sorry I haven’t written you in so long. 

(deep breath)

I still think about you and feel your presence in my life all the time.

I got a box full of your things from my Dad recently. I can’t make it to the bottom without crying…but boy am I thankful to have it.

I remember some of the things inside of it as clear as a bell…

…but there are a few things I don’t remember seeing before.

Important reminders…

… and sweet souvenirs…

…and captured moments…

I can’t stop looking at into them…

I do remember seeing these photos…

But this book…I don’t remember this book…

You wrote down everyone’s birthdays in it.

Even yours…

November 12th.

The day that, since you went to Heaven, I have continued to cherish because of how safe and loved you always made me feel.

Love always,

*November 12th is just one of the Evidences that made me feel less afraid to say “yes” to Peru, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share the story of one of my most personal of days with you here today. I hope to “e-see” you again when we get to Lima!

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Compassion in Peru - Day 1
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  1. Sandy says

    You are a sweet, sweet girl who I would love to meet in person someday. I hope your trip is beyond wonderful and that God blesses you and the guy you are holding hands with on this journey! Safe travels….

  2. says

    My great grandma was born on this day way back in 1913. I still have very vivid memories of her and just like you, a few of her things. Happy birthday to both of our grandmother’s today!

  3. Debbie Schaffer says

    Beautiful post. I’m so glad you were able to go. Looking forward to sharing your journey.

  4. Lisa W. says

    This is SO very special…you gotta love those Grandma’s. So full of wisdom and love! You are very lucky to be able to have such treasures, and thank you for sharing them with us! I hope your safe in your “comfort zone” now. And I can’t leave without saying how special it is to read your blog. Your love for your husband and family is like a breath of fresh air. It just seems this country has lost some important morals along the way. THIS is so comforting to me to read about the small stuff, AND the big stuff today like your travels, and your Grandma’s special things. Thank you for making our everyday “good stuff”!!!

  5. says

    Made me tear up! My Grandma passed away a little over two years ago and I think of her daily. Grandma’s sure are special!

  6. Lisa says

    Layla, I hope by the time you read this you and Kevin are safely in Peru. What an adventure! One you will never forget! My comfort zone has shrunk SO much that I often wish I could just stay home in my comfy home ALL day EVERY day, but I cannot. Enjoy the experience. I was so afraid to fly ALL THE way to London to visit my sister, but it was one of those dream trips that to this day makes me so happy to think about 😉

  7. Theodene Allen says

    Aloha! I’m so excited to learn about Peru, as my son and I recently began sponsoring a little boy there. I am touched by your blog and the importance of November 12, which was yesterday. My prayers go out to you and the team during this trip. The angels are rejoicing because y’all are sharing significant moments that will change someone’s life forever. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Kate Bartho says

    Layla, it is a joy to see you walking in obedience to God by traveling to Peru to share His love. It is also an encouragement to see you and Kevin move from financially and prayerfully supporting your Compassion child to actively GOING. How exciting! I can see that God is growing your family in great ways and will continue to use for His glory as you serve others in His name. Thank you for sharing with us.

  9. Joyce Adinolfi says

    Wishing you God Speed in your trip to Peru. I have a child in Peru and we wish we could join you. Now I can visit through your journey that you have so generously offered to share. Bless you.

  10. says

    My wonderful, amazing grandma died just a few hours ago. I am sad (for me) because I already miss her so much, but happy for her knowing she is now reunited with the love of her life, her parents &her sisters and that, after being blind for the past 15 years, today she woke up being able to see.
    thanks for your thoughts and letting us peek at your treasured keepsakes.

  11. says

    After all these years of working at Compassion, I am still so moved when God chooses to use a simple thing like a date in an old book to confirm something in the heart of someone wondering if they should go. I know how precious these children are to Him, but He still takes the time to confirm. Thank you for going and for looking to Him for the confirmation.

  12. Geri says

    Layla I love your open heart.
    Your grandma is with you always and so proud of the
    creative, passionate, compassionate and full of life woman you are.
    Grandmas rock! Prayers on your journey. Geri.

  13. tracyo says

    Just a beautiful post Layla. I know how you feel. Have a fantastic trip to Peru. It’ll be so good for you!

  14. Wendy M says

    You made me tear up Layla. My Grandma’s name was Evelyn too, and she always told me that I was her favorite Granddaughter… largely due to the fact that she only had one! Good one, Grandma! We were very close and I got a lot of her kitchen things and recipes when she had to go into a home (she got alzheimers and passed away many years ago). Funny thing is, we were having some work done in the basement last weekend, and in cleaning up I came across some old kitchen items in a box that I had not seen for years. Brought back so many memories, in much the same way you were just talking about. Bitter-sweet, but very heavy on the sweet!

  15. says

    I know the feeling with those shrinking edges, so strange isn’t it? I love the letter idea. I have one of my grandma’s letters to me framed. I think it’s time I wrote her back:)

  16. says

    awww sweet post Layla. You have brought tears to my eyes because as I read this, I thought of my gram who passed away last year (one of the ones that lived with us). I think she had the same mirror and beautiful handwriting like your gram :) We have so many of those old photo’s as well. I know what you mean about looking “into” them. I often stare at some of them and wonder, “did you go through this to gram?”. It’s so funny when you are a kid and oblivious to what goes on around you. When I look at my gram’s pictures I think about her life and the stress she must have had but yet in those pictures, she looks so peaceful. Hmmm, I wonder if my grandchildren {yikes my son is only 6!} will look at pictures of me in 80 years and think awwww, cute gram! haha. :) Look now, you got me all sentimental and I wrote a book for a comment!