stunt bikeA grandmother in our blog community shared her birthday request with us. She asked her teenage grandsons (currently in foster care) for a special gift that she would appreciate more than any kind of present — a letter telling her how they feel about her.

She told them that the letter could be short or long, handwritten or emailed. With permission, here are lightly edited excerpts from one boy, meant to encourage each of us as we seek to do the best for the children we love.

Dear Grandma,

From Day One you have been there for my brother and me, never giving up on us. Even if we make mindless decisions, you believe there’s good in us. I couldn’t believe it myself a few years ago. Things have changed a lot between the last 4-5 years, for better or worse, but not you.

heart puzzleYou’re still involved in our lives, still reminding us to strive for greatness. I don’t understand how you do it. I truly don’t. Your job as a parent is done; you raised two children already and worked more than half your life. Your hip is not what it used to be and you’re still able to come out to our football games and track meets. You really show us the meaning of family.

We live with people who care for us, sure. They have a role in our lives that’s important. The point is they get paid to house us and provide us with the basic things we need. You never got a thing for what you’ve done for me. It’s a small fact that goes without being said, but it makes all the difference.

I don’t need to remind myself of my situation or my past. My world has had pain in it, has had addictions in it, and it has had hate in it. I regret too many things I’ve done, things that shape who I am today.

But I know what kind of person I want to be, what kind of future I see for myself, and everything I have accomplished already wouldn’t be possible without you. I drive you insane most of the time, but nothing is stronger than the bond we have. Grandma, I will love you forever.

Tweetable: Ask & you shall receive. Smart grandma asks teen grandson for birthday letter instead of gift and wow! Click to Tweet