A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

xoxoxo-- Kisses and Hugs Like My Grandmother Used to Send Me

Liberated Hugs and Kisses Blocks
Liberated Hugs and Kisses Blocks (Photo credit: Cut To Pieces)
     Whenever my grandmother used to send me cards or letters when I was a child, at the bottom she would add "xoxoxo".   The first time I saw this I asked my mother what it meant.  After she told me that the x's were kisses and the o's were hugs, I could see it.  I could see the kisses and hugs.

         I was so enthralled by this charming bit of messaging that I started adding it to my own letters and valentine cards.   To me it was like a secret code that had been imparted to me by my grandmother.  It was a while before I saw the x's and o's anywhere else--in a cartoon I think.  Eventually I realized this was a widespread bit of symbolization that many used, but for me those letters always reminded me of my grandmother's message of love to me.

         Other than in my first seven years of life I never saw my grandmother very often.  We lived too far apart most of the time to allow for many visits.  Even though I rarely was able to spend much time with her after my seventh year, she always remembered my birthdays.  Every Christmas I would eagerly await my grandmother's holiday package of homemade candies and sweets which was loaded with lots of sugar and spice and hugs and kisses.  Though far away geographically, she was always near in my thoughts.

         My grandmother died when I was thirty-seven.  I was able to see her several times after I became an adult and often traveled to where she lived.  One of the best weeks of my life was right after my first year of college when I decided to embark on my own odyssey.

        My grandparents house was one of the stops on my journey.  Each morning my grandmother would fix breakfast and sit with me while I ate.  Later my grandfather, who had already started his rounds around town before I had woken up, would come back to pick me up so he could show off his grandson to the folks he knew.   The idyllic afternoons were spent reading books from their home library or just sitting on the porch with my grandparents.  Such a fine summer week it was!

        It's now been twenty-five years since the passing of my grandmother.  She was a fine lady.  I still hear in my mind the melodic strains of her voice.   The smell of bacon takes me back to those mornings when she'd fix me breakfast.  And when I think of xoxoxo, my grandmother is the first person who comes to my mind.

         Now I'm a grandparent with grandchildren whom I love dearly.  I'll have to teach them about xoxoxox.

         Do you ever sign off letters with x's and o's?   Were you able to have a relationship with your grandparents?   What traditions are you passing on to your children or grandchildren?

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  1. What a lovely thought of your grandmother, I always sign off with xx.
    Have a good week-end.

  2. Aw, what a sweet post about your Grandma... what a lovely lady she was.

    I grew up with my grandmother, it's been 23 years since her passing, and I still miss her terribly.

    Great X!


  3. I do use XO a lot in electronic and written messages. I only had one grandmother and she died when I was 24. My dad was an orphan, and my maternal grandfather died when I was 4. I have no children of my own, but my stepkids are in their early 20s so there's hope for grandkids.

  4. My gr-daughters cover their notes to me with XOXO, and I love it.

  5. What lovely thoughts to have every time you see xo. I don't use the symbols personally. My Baba (grandma) is my only grandparent still alive and I just can't think about the day when I will lose her. She helped raise me and we are closer than most grandchildren are with their grandparents, I would venture to say. When she does pass on I will taking her tradition of creating Ukrainian Easter Eggs (pysanky) and passing it on to my children and my children's children.

    Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

  6. I like using XO for kisses and hugs as well! Today's a great day for blog hopping as X is probably the most challenging letter of the whole run!

    Thanks for stopping by our blog earlier!

    Burbed: SF Bay/Silicon Valley Real Estate, Housing, Mortgage & Bubble Price Insanity

  7. Yvonne -- I wonder how many younger people know this since not many people write letters anymore. Or did it become part of textspeak.

    Doris -- Grandmothers seemed older when I was a kid.

    JoJo -- Grandchildren are such a blessing. I wish mine didn't live so far away.

    Susan - So the tradition has carried on.

    Brandy -- Grandparents help perpetuate tradition.

    Madhaus -- X is always a tricky one and it gets more difficult for me every year.


  8. Such a sweet post. I only had a relationship with my maternal grandmother and sadly she was the first to go. Before I was eighteen I had only one grandparent left. He's still alive today.

  9. I was really close to my grandparents until my grand mothers passed away at 12 and 16. But, when one of my grandmother's died, my cousin and I got close and we are best friends now.

  10. Hi Lee .. it's around - it happens in the blogosphere .. and can be a great support ... and as you mention in text language too.

    So the magic of the Xs and the Os still live on - I hope people get that warm fuzzy feeling when they're received .. I know I do - I feel great affinity towards some bloggers ... not having children or grandchildren I don't get that feeling - though I'm sure I would .. godchildren = yes too ..

    Cheers for now .. xoxoxoxoo Hilary!


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