Mary Jane

Grandma Mary Jane,

I can still find Middle C, but I quit playing the piano after you passed away. I wish I would've continued.

But I did carry on the spirit of genuine creativity. I mean, I'm drenched in it. Every route I went felt wrong except using this unique gift to serve the public. How could I have done anything else? Being shown the spirit of creative culture from a youthful adult was the purest form of love I ever felt.

Kelly mailed me some of your poems. The smell of them reminds me of your house. The ferns brushing my legs as I'd walk to the back door. That two-step porch that had rocks mixed into the cement. The jingle of those bells as I'd open that big wooden door. Then I'd enter the kitchen and, boom, the creative workshop began! Everywhere I looked there were dolls, figurines, and pictures, all genuine and imprinted with meaning—a meaning that took a special person to see and bring life to.

There are so many reasons people like you are special. I'll do my best to name a few.

People like you serve the youth.

You attended high school sporting events even when your relatives weren't playing. You'd sit right there in your lawn chair with that umbrella and cheer on the Lincoln Panthers. You treated the youth like they were society's most precious resource.

You'd be proud of how smart youngsters are today! And their spirit is still curious and adventurous. The little girls brush their beautiful hair off their sweaty brows and say things like, "Um...Mr. Brandon, um, Matthew stuck out his tongue at me and is being mean." The tone of their voices and the cadence of their sentences represent all that is right with the world. I look at them the way you looked at me...and the youth in general.

People like you treat other people's vulnerabilities with compassion.

You cared. You thought of others. Your tone and presence healed people like a figure skater's grace and poise awe a crowd.

Remember that time in like 1991 when my mom called you in the middle of the night to come check on me because I was sick? You were there with your nurse's bag in minutes, even though you were my dad's mom and my parents didn't speak.

You didn't just do that with your grandkids. You'd bring anyone in town a bowl of soup when they were sick. The pastor used that as an example of your character at your funeral.

People like you change a person's life before it needs to be changed.

A human being has the infinite resource of creativity at the tip of their mind. A person born without external resources can become wealthy on the inside by tapping into their inner self.

Resourcefulness is a learned behavior. You lived this and passed it on.

No one else in my circle had the ability to impress the usefulness of creativity on my brain. To say I could have been lost in the shuffle of negativity would be an understatement.

You pulled me by the ear and made me focus on something I didn't see in myself. What if you wouldn't have done that?

I spent my whole life thinking I had to do something big, but all I ever wanted to do was express the love you gave me.

I wish I would have appreciated you more at the time. Thank you for laying the foundation for something only you saw.

I came across one of your poems about us playing with

non-electronic toys, but I lost it. Now that I think about it, it fell into my possession at a time when I was redirecting my life. I sure needed it then!

I may have lost the paper but I'll forever have the spirit.

I love you more than I can express.

Your grandson,


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