Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grandma Mary

Yesterday I read Dawn's Post about her Grandma and I have not been able to get mine off of my mind since then. Sometimes getting things out in writing is healing for me - so I am going to tell you about my Grandma Mary. Feel free to doze off and wake up at the end to comment - because this is really just for me - and probably will bore you to tears anyway.

I am the youngest of five cousins on my mom's side of the family. The first two, Stephen and Robin are a year apart, and then Janell and my sister, Phoebe, are also a year apart. Then there was me. When we were all together a couple of times a year, they would grab their partner in crime and head off on their adventures and I was usually left alone - too young to be any fun for any of them. Grandma was my playmate. I can remember Grandma putting down whatever she was cooking and coming outside and swinging with me. Or getting me started on some project that would occupy my time. I never remember her telling me she was too busy for me. Sometimes I might have to wait a few minutes for her to turn off the stove or finish washing dishes, but then we would be off on our own adventure.

My Grandma lived in Artesia, NM, a small town. All my life I can remember if she heard a fire truck she would drop whatever she was doing, grab her purse and we would jump in the car to chase the fire truck. Being married to a Fireman now - I realize that was so totally illegal - but, boy, was it ever fun!!

I am named after my Grandma - yes my first name is Mary. My Lizzie is named after her as well, as she was Mary Elizabeth. Lizzie was the youngest Great Grandkid and Grandma got a kick out of her! She would just sit in her chair and watch her and smile. I will never forget that smile. She was too old to chase firetrucks by then.

The night my grandma passed away I was the only grandchild not present. I was very ill at the time and unable to travel. I still feel very sad about that. I will never forget that night though. I was lying on my bed and I suddenly felt her there. I can't describe it to you - but I knew the moment she passed away - I felt it in my soul. I tried to call my mom - no answer. I went downstairs to be near my kids and Lizzie was 3 at the time. I hadn't said a word to anyone about what I had experienced upstairs yet - Lizzie was standing in the middle of the living room, she pointed out the French doors and said - "There's Grandma Mary". Just like that. So, even though I was unable to go and say goodbye to her, she came to me. She made a pit stop on the way to her last great adventure. I feel so honored by that.

I have quite a few of my Grandma's kitchen things. I use them and I feel just a little bit closer to her. The hole in my heart right now feels just as big as it ever did - years later I still miss her terribly. I wish I could walk in her back door and smell the comfort of being in her house. I wish I could sit down with her and play cards. I can't do any of those things. I can be grateful for all that she instilled in me that is good and honorable. I can look forward to the day that I will get the chance to use her example and never be too busy for my grandkids - NOT anytime too soon though! AAAARRGGGHHH I just woke myself up to reality - NOT ready to be Grandma yet! But so glad I had the one I had.


Jen said...

goose bumps on seeing Grandma Mary.

I only knew my dads mom; I think I was 10 or 11 when she died. No real relationship or memories.
My mother's mom passed when she was a 12. You are lucky to have those good memories to grow on.
and...I didn't get bored.

Shellmo said...

I enjoyed reading this - you had such a loving and special grandmother! I love how she always had time for you! (Reminds me of my dear Papa - he was the same way!) Had a chuckle picturing some sweet old lady chasing after a firetruck. How ironic that you married a fireman....full circle.

Dawn said...

i'm so happy that i inspired you to share some beautiful memories of you & your grandma... i can just picture you running off with her trailing those firetrucks! i suppose the best thing about memories is that you take them wherever you go in life... small enought o hold in your pocket, and big enough to fill up the holes in our hearts... for a time, at least.