This Is My Last Five Dollars


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The best card I ever received was on my birthday in 1995. It was from Dave’s Grandma Gray, and she enclosed a five dollar bill. It was signed, “This is my last five dollars.”

She wasn’t being funny. Someone made her give me five dollars against her will, I think.

She didn’t know me, but she already disliked me. She lived with Dave’s family. Dave was the baby of the family. He had been traveling with a touring group when he met me- apparently a poor substitute for his last girlfriend. In fact, Grandma actually called Dave’s ex as soon as she discovered we were together.

A few months earlier Dave had received his own special birthday gift when Grandma, as a combined Christmas/birthday gift, decided to write her grandson a letter about all the reasons he should never have broken up with his last girlfriend. I guess she was pretty amazing.

I could have been offended, but it was clear that this wasn’t really about me. I am just glad I have the card. And I wish I could say this all turned out with a happy ending about how she finally accepted me, but unfortunately Grandma Gray passed away later that same year. By then we were engaged, and Dave was living in Michigan. She still wasn’t happy about it. She said I was just after his money. At the time, Dave was making doughnuts for a living.  Continue reading