Friday, August 7, 2009

The makings of a memory...

It's been another sad week for my family. My grandma passed away suddenly on Saturday morning, and we've all been dealing with the grief related to losing someone so dear to us. I thought I should write about Grandma and what she meant to me. We each knew her a little differently...each relationship was unique.

Grandma was a quiet, peaceful person. When I was a kid, walking into her house was like being wrapped up in a cozy blanket. She lived in the country, and I looked forward to exploring the woods, playing with my cousin who lived down the road, and working in the garden. I guess being raised in the city meant that I never had to work in the garden long enough for it to become a chore. I remember sitting on the back steps in the evenings, snapping green beans. I remember the way scratches from the blackberry bushes stung when I rinsed them in the pump, and how good that well water tasted on a hot day. I remember Grandma and Mom in the kitchen, canning vegetables from the garden or cooking a meal. Grandma always made my birthday dinner when we were there. She would make whatever I wanted, and I think I usually asked for pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and green beans. It was always delicious.

Grandma loved animals. I remember her having several cats throughout the years, and she always fed the birds. Her yard is full of bird feeders and nest boxes, and we had a lot of conversations about what birds had visited her feeders. As an adult, I always called her with my gardening questions. We also shared a love of African violets, peonies and irises.

Needle crafts were another hobby we shared. Grandma was an excellent seamstress, and spent many evening hours stitching away on quilts, embroidery and crochet projects. Maybe that's where I get my "crafty" gene.

The day Grandma went to be with the Lord I went to a dear friend's house, and when I walked in she was pulling jars of dill pickles out of a stock pot. That about summed it up for me. Grandma was the smell of dill, the way those pickles looked in the jars, and the impatience I felt waiting the required six weeks before opening them. She was fresh spearmint from the garden in a glass of iced tea. She was quiet summer evenings and beautiful handmade quilts. She has left a big hole in the lives of all of us who knew her, but I know that when we get to heaven, she'll have a meal ready, and beds made up with beautiful quilts. I hope that she has a garden where weeds never grow and every pretty bird there is.


Abby said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's great that you have so many ways to remember her in your life, so many happy memories.

*Love and hugs!*

Christina said...

I love that your memories of your Grandma are not the material things that she gave you, but the things she did with you and for you.

Lots of hugs being sent your way. Wish I could be a physical shoulder to cry on. You and your family are in my prayers.

Brooke said...

She sounds like such a wonderful lady. Thank you for sharing your memories and helping us to know her a little bit. I look forward to meeting her someday in heaven!

emmms said...

Lista, I'm so, so sorry, what awful news. You've told me about your grandma before and she sounded like such a strong, creative, wonderful woman. I'm with you in spirit, if not in person. Big love and hugs to you and all your family, my Lista.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your Grandma.
You all continue to be in my prayers. Much Love Phyllis

Anonymous said...

Your picture of Mom brought a lot of great memories for me. I'm so glad you shared your view of Gramdma Ward. I have sometimes thought you kids must have thought she was boring compared to Grandma Carol, because she was so lively and fun. It's good to see that you appreciated what Grandma Ward brought to your life. I never really thought of some of the aspects you mentioned and the mint in the tea certainly sent me way back thinking of old times.
Love you girlie,
Aunt Greta