Monday, May 21, 2012

What I meant to say.

Some kids aren't lucky enough to know their grandparents.  Some know them, but never really get to *know* them.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones who not only knew their grandparents, but had a close relationship with them.  Last month, my grandmother passed away - rejoining my grandfather who had gone 3 years before.  This past month has been a tough one for me - coming to grips with the reality that my second home is no longer what it was, and that no new memories are going to be made.  

Needless to say, I haven't gotten much done in the way of crafting or sewing.  

This past weekend was my grandmother's memorial service, and it almost seemed unreal.  (My girls wore the dresses I made them from their Gigi's aprons.  Here's Raina's, and here's Lucca's.)  I had every intention of getting up to speak at the memorial, but my sister gave an act that was tough to follow, and before I knew it, the moment was gone.  This is what I meant to say, and what has been on my heart this month:

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Most days it's hard to imagine I'm waking up in a world my Gram is no longer a physical part of.  That Snowport is empty.  But how quickly my tears become smiles. 

The British preacher Charles Spurgeon was quoted saying, "Carve your name on hearts, not on marble."  Is there anyone who has done that better than my Gram?  

I remember walking through the Red Maple Swamp with Gram and Pop, something we did fairly often when I was younger, but this particular time I was somewhere in middle school, only beginning to delve deeper into the meaning of love.  We were on a path through the swamp, and they were walking next to each other a few steps ahead of me.  And then they were holding hands.  And then Gram's head was resting against his arm.  It was an "aha!" moment for me.  "So THAT is what love looks like!"  

And then I noticed it everywhere.  Fixing the coffee for Pop before going to bed.  First the water, then the filter, then the coffee.  Cereal box, big bowl, big spoon.  A routine, done every night without much consideration on my part about how much it would be appreciated in the wee hours of the morning.  Until that moment.  (In a swamp, no less!)

Love is....

 ...sacrificing a beautiful bush in your side yard to 2 generations of nature soup cooks.
...gingerbread man and apple juice picnics at the beach.
...always having cold pinwheel cookies in the fridge.
...buying your own pencils back from your grandkids after they decorate them with stickers and call them souvenirs.
...shucking corn on the patio in humid August with a smile on your face.
...flicking the lights on the lamp post to say one last goodbye.

Gram's arms were full of love.  Whether I was 7 days old, on my first ride down to Dennisport in Gram's arms;  7 years old, joyously happy and bounding off the school bus;  17 and the saddest I had ever been;  or 27 and visiting "home" from 3,00 miles away. 

And really, shouldn't Grace and love go hand in hand?

It was that love, and that (G)grace, that helped make me who I am today.  During summer vacations, school breaks, weekend sleepovers.  It allowed me to be myself.  To explore and get dirty.  To glue shells to things or cut up magazines and glue the pictures into a who-knows-what.  That sometimes it's important to talk, and sometimes it's more important to just sit quietly together and watch the waves.  It taught me to appreciate nature, family, books, and good food.  It taught me the importance of a strong mind, a strong pair of hands, and a strong heart.  That life isn't always fair, but tomorrow always comes.  To love, and to be loved.  Gram taught me that.

And so, to my Gram, who was loved so much and gave it all right back, here's one last flick of the lamp post lights to you.  

Love you forever.

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p.s. - I'll be back on track with my usual posts as soon as I can get my mind back around it (and my new sewing machine working correctly!  Happy Mother's Day to me!).  Until then, hope you don't mind the lack of humor and sewing puns.  :)  I've got some good things in store for you!


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