August 23rd is always a bitter-sweet day for me because ya see it was the birthday of my Gramm. She was an amazing, loving and brilliant lady who loved me when I never knew I was lovable.
Gramm was full of talent, full of grace and her love for others was her gift. I always say it was she who taught me kindness breeds kindness and how people feel when we are kind to them. She quilted her entire life and I am very lucky I still use them daily, they are filled with her love. And don’t get me started on her cooking and baking skills – I need not say more than ‘OMG those homemade dinner buns – to die for add butter and Yummy! I have a few extra rolls thanks to shoving more in my mouth than I ever want to admit. Sunday dinners at Granma’s house are always a memory I will cherish, my sibs and I were lucky, our parents took us there often.
When she passed 10 years ago, I was able to get a few of her old-fashioned tea towels that were made from old sugar bags. I had two of them and put them in a plastic sealed container, on her one year anniversary I reached for said container and opened it. I gotta tell ya that as I type this I can still smell the smell that came to me that day when I opened the container. Out jumped Love, Grace, Gratitude, Joy and a picture of this small woman, her apron on sitting in her rocking chair speaking about life. if you are wondering How do those emotions have a smell; pity that you have not yet experienced a love that attaches smell to emotions. For when she hugged me I knew that smell meant something, it felt like peace and calm and a sense of feeling secure when I was with her. Back in those days when I struggled with myself and was I really lovable et all she was that safe place for me.
As I aged and her health started to decline, it became more important for me to spend quality time with her. She shared many Life Lessons with me and I Loved her tiny frail, soft as silk, wrinkled hands that were shrinking from the arthritis which was invading her body. I smile and often giggle to myself when I think of her sitting in her chair saying ‘You gott to be a kiddin” about something. It warms my heart often when I think of her. When she moved to a nursing home and I visited her, I was able to schedule my visits around her lunch time. I would feed her lunch and chat away, being helpful to staff who felt the pressures having a lot of seniors on one floor who require personal help. I think she enjoyed it, I know her dignity was still intact and not been able to feed herself must have been awful in her mind. We sat in her room and shared life, our challenges and our joy; remembering one birthday conversation near the end where I asked ‘Gramm how is this thing called life and getting older – her reply getting older isn’t great, I think you should wish to live till you are 80 that is old enough. She passed at age 93 having lived a beautiful life.
In reflecting on the many, many Wise Women who have guided me to this point in my life I would be remiss to say I also had another brilliant gramm who passed on her humor and grace to me. She passed when I was much younger and yet I remember my sister and I putting rollers in her fine, thin hair and her laughing at and with us. Ohhh her laughter is how I remember my Gramma Kieffer. She lived on a farm, had a difficult life and yet her strength allowed her to keep going, making us feel loved and welcomed. Christmas was always fun on the farm with everyone returning home to be together. My mother would play the piano, folks would sing, adults played solo and the kids, well we were kids. I have a few of her very old hats at my mother’s home and one time we took them out and wore them. Goodness me they were funny. My mother reminds me of my grandmother because of her fine, thin hair, the way she laughs at everything and the way she gets anxious when we used to have family dinners at her home. Funny observation, this memory just popped into my head and I smiled.
And so here are a few take-aways of the view from my chair.
- Wise Women are everywhere in your family – life. Please celebrate them
- If you have children, allow them to have a relationship with their grandmothers; however it looks. They will thank you later in life
- Think back to those phrases they made unique: “You gotta be a kiddin” was her line I find myself using it with a huge grin remembering her face lighting up when she spoke it
- Cherish those moments with our elders in our families and life. They have many things to teach us
- Share – share and over share the memories of those who have loved and left us. Smiling and shedding tears means you felt their love
- Isn’t life more amazing when we can feel the love of our gramms even though they are up there watching over us. I for one am beyond grateful for their love.
- Memories.. may they warm you on a cold, dark day
As always, thank you for dropping in to read the view from my chair, I appreciate it. While this started out as a sad thought by the end my happy heart is ‘justa dancing and filled with love. Yes indeed… only a gramma can do that.
‘Memories, light the corner of my mind…
Miss ya gramm..