Today is my Grandmother’s birthday.

Even though she has no internet access, and no desire to ever surf the web, I wanted to wish her a happy one. Grandma Evy is a wise woman, and I wrote this letter for her. (Don’t worry, I’ll give her a hard copy.)

Dear Grandma,

I hope you know how much you mean to the family. You have been a pillar of strength in difficult times, and I admire your will to see us through what has seemed like the impossible.

I love your old-fashioned ways of doing things, like how you taught me to make jelly and gather corn on your farm. How you make your noodles from scratch in the days where instant-everything is the popular thing to do, and the same goes for your pie crusts. I’m still not sure about the rinsing of your ziplock bags so they can be saved for future use, but who am I to judge if that’s what makes you happy.

Growing up, I remember your ‘pocketbook’ as you call it, and how I could always count on you to share a mint or a piece of gum. While digging for the gum, you would pull countless other items out of your purse, like a plastic raincap to protect your hair, and crushed saltine crackers in their plastic, straight from the restaurant. Not to mention the numerous Sweet N’ Lows you swiped from Wendy’s.

I’ve always loved your boundless amount of energy, though I know I’ll never duplicate it. How you can outshop me on any day, and how you are the first to be at the sink doing dishes following a family dinner, usually joined by your grandson-in-laws. How you take early morning walks for some exercise, even though I will count walking up the stairs as a day’s workout. And how you won’t miss a Pacers game, and even defended Ron Artest when he was traded, saying “he didn’t get a fair deal.” I didn’t agree, but I knew better to disagree. After all, you’re Grandma.

I remember the old days as a child, when you let me give you a ‘makeover,’ and always seemed to like the results, even though your cheeks sported more rouge than a clown and I went a little heavy on the electric-blue eyeshadow. “Boy, I sure look pretty,” you would say.

The truth is, you may be another year older, but it’s another year wiser, another year loved, and another year admired.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Evy. You’re one of a kind.