September 16, 2012

Grandma: Scraps, Moonbeams and Love

We were on the couch when my sister called, crying and trying to catch her breath with the news breathed out like hot coals.

Bad news. As my mind tried to slowly wrap around the possibility of losing my grandmother pain and then slowly thankfulness gripped my heart. In an instant I though back to a load of memories with her and then how grateful I am that I have them and how open she has always been to love me.

I remembered the musty smell of a pillow long not used that she curled up for me to lay my head on while we lay in the moonlight having a sleep over. She would tell creative and scary stories about monkeys and blood as I cuddled up close to her and thought she was genius and warmth all combined.

I remembered her love advice while we worked together at the flower shop- and how she always came back to the story of how my grandpa was the one for her and she just knew it from the start. She would smack the cash register and say, "If it feels like you're just kissing this old register- then he's not the one!"

I always liked it. The simplistic approach to everything. The matter of fact advice.

I remember as a child the endless crocheted booties and socks for Christmas gifts or her sitting on her porch rocking in the swing and having us children line up at the dusty curb across from the truck lot to play "Mother May I".

The hours of advice on growing tomato plants, cooking easy cobbler and too-fast crochet tutorials no one could ever follow. 

I thought she was all knowing and all strong.

And in more recent years- while my wandering heart led me across the oceans- I would call her and she would breathe through tears and say she loved me and missed me and I could picture her glasses splattered with tears and her face red with emotion. And I felt warm and loved- just like in the moon beams as a child and I would promise to come visit and that I loved her missed her too.

She was always home. Always constant. Always love.

Then that call came, and the fear gripped and my stomach dropped and longed for musty pillows and moonbeams all at once.

And education, adventure and accolades fade and crumble in comparison to her investment in people, love and life.

In an instant I saw that gaping hole she would leave.

Today on the phone I could hear the barrage of emotions my mom held back as she said my grandpa refused to leave my grandma's side last night at the hospital, "I won't leave her and she won't leave me" mom breathed, and I could picture her face, eyelashes full of tears and face red with emotion thinking the same thoughts about a hole we just weren't ready to face.

A sewing machine covered in dust on our dining room table, scraps of materials she's packed up in plastic bags and crochet needles in bundles line my closet. Testaments to her passing her legacy on and trying to stitch together my life with hers and giving me something she knows I can tangibly pass on.

 And for today we've been given a gift of more time- more hot slow days, moonbeams and hours of advice. Scraps I will cling to and some day stitch together to pass on.

1 comment:

Christine Eubanks said...

"I would call her and she would breathe through tears and say she loved me and missed me and I could picture her glasses splattered with tears and her face red with emotion"

Yeah my grandmother and I are too close too. I really miss her so much. By the way, what's your greatest gift to your grandma?

Emotional Health

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