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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Memories

Two weeks gone. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Grandma. There is a photo of her propped up near where I keep my car keys and my phone. The sparkle in her eyes and the smile about her lips are a reminder of all she was, but they also remind me that there are no more conversations.

Today I spent time in the kitchen making two of her recipes to feature over at The Cooks Next Door. Recipes that shouldn't be too much of a challenge for me. And yet, I found myself making second batches of each because something wasn't working. Grandma isn't here anymore to ask what I was doing wrong.

I've wanted to write a tribute to Grandma for days, but the words I try to string together don't fit. They don't capture. I want to remember her voice and the sound of her laugh; her soothing hands that were always soft and cool to the touch; her patience and the many crafts and activities she prepared for our visits to her, or her visits to us. Somehow, I can't capture any of that the way I want to. It falls so short of all that Grandma was, a woman with remarkable faith and love and joy in living.

Grandma was so many things to so many people. Wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, care giver. It’s hard to imagine a life where she is no longer dropping notes in the mail to acknowledge special occasions or just to encourage. As a young girl I remember the excitement of receiving mail from Grandma because each letter was usually accompanied by a newspaper clipping of interest, a small quote, a photo, a bookmark, something small that reminded her of me. What is so remarkable to me is that there were 21 grandkids and as I’m rather far down the line and one of a brood of seven, I know she must have been blessing the mailboxes of many others as well.

Vegetable beef soup will always remind me of Grandma. Our overnight visits were scented by the pot of vegetable beef soup simmering on the stove, awaiting our supper hour arrival. Ladled into bowls, the table heavy with well-balanced supper essentials: a dish of cottage cheese, a plate of bread (butter on the side), a tossed fruit bowl, milk poured from the brown Tupperware pitcher—always so cold. The clatter of spoon against soup bowl side. The swipe of butter across bread. The chewings and swallowings and murmurings of many family mouths eating and talking and loving.

That warmth and love I will always remember.

I miss her.

As the days pass, still a small lump appears in my throat without warning. A tear slips unbidden down my cheek. But, I breathe and thank God for so many years with her.

Oh, but I miss her!

4 comments:

Kim said...

So sorry, Steph. But so glad you guys have so many great memories - and recipes! - to remember your grandma by!

Lana Joy said...

Me, too, Steph.

Heather L. said...

You all are so blessed to have these special memories. I'm just sorry that the sweeter the memories the harder the goodbyes. Thinking of you....

Alaina said...

Beuatiful. I miss her so much and find the tears come at random times...just a few but they slip unexpectedly down my cheek.

 
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