Full transcript available below.
My name is Andy Janning and I knew your grandma, Elizabeth. I wanna tell you about her, buddy, because she was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known.
I met her only a few weeks before you were born. Even before you got here, she was already madly in love with you. She couldn’t wait to hold and cuddle you. She lit up the most and smiled the widest when she was talking about you.
I got to hang out with her because I wanted a whole bunch of my friends across the country to know about her. I wanted these friends of mine to see what your grandma went through while she was sick, and why it’s so important for my friends to help out sick people like her as much as they can.
You may be wondering who these friends are. Because it’s hard for me to guess how much you’ll know when, or even if, you hear this, let me just say that my friends work at something called a credit union, where they do cool things with money, and those cool money things help other people live better lives.
That sounds like a bunch of boring grown-up stuff. And you know what? You’re probably right. We adults think a lot about money – how to get it and how to spend it, mostly. We run so fast to get as much of it as we can, work so hard to hold onto it, and wonder why we don’t have enough of it.
And guess what happens? We get angry and sad and scared about money when we get sick like grandma Elizabeth was. That’s really hard for grown-ups to admit, Remi, harder than you’ll ever know.
But you know why your grandma Elizabeth was cool, and why I wanted everyone to know about her? Because even though she was scared about money, and being sick, and how hard all of this was on your family, she never forgot what life is all about, how long the days are and how short the years become, and how full life can be when we let go of what we’ll leave behind anyway.
She never agreed with me about how special she is. That’s what brave people, everyday heroes, do. They never consider their own brilliance. They’re too busy helping others see and share their own.
She never asked me to tell her story. Her story found me. Her grace, quick wit, hospitality, and generosity are with me to this day, no matter when that day is for you, Remi.
I pray you never need to hear this message. I hope that you never need the small and fleeting slices of her life that I recorded in Twin Falls and Fall Creek.
I hope you experience her light and love for yourself, in person and in draughts so full and plenty and powerful that they hang as one before you, a north star bright and unbound.
But if God’s plans are different for her, if He in His wisdom needed her more by His side than yours, then please know that she changed my friends who listened and cared like she did, who were brave enough to choose love over fear, and hope over cynicism.
Please know she changed me for the better, for always, and I hope I get to meet you in person someday to catch a glimpse of her in you.
Peace and love, dear Remington.