Sunday, May 10, 2009

I've been thinking about my grandma a lot lately.
I think there are a few reasons for this.
First, my family and I have recently moved to a house farther into the hills and woods, and once you live a good distance away from the nearest town you must learn to plan better and be more resourceful, intuitive and self-reliant. My grandma seems to embody all these qualities, having lived on our family farm in rural Kansas all her life, and I find myself thinking more and more these days something like, "Oh, that's why she always does that." And it makes me feel good to think that finally I'm beginning to get it.

I believe that along with the wisdom that comes with age, there's also a certain bit of nobility. And since we're both women and sisters and mothers, I hold dearly onto all her little sayings and bits of advice. "You never use soap on a skillet, that's just a waste of good grease," and "it might not help get the job done, but grunting always makes it feel easier."

Second, my daughter's birthday is coming up and when I recently talked to her on the phone, she asked if it was alright for her to send Mazzy another doll for her birthday. Let me back this up by saying that my grandma was the youngest of eleven children in her family, and they struggled like everybody during the Depression. She's told me quite a few times about how she only had one doll growing up and it was handmade to begin with and you can imagine how ratty the poor thing must have been. So now she gives my girls dolls every chance she gets and says "I just don't think a girl can have too many dolls." I just can't argue with that.

Third, it's Mother's Day, which is always bittersweet for me because my own mother is gone. But every time I feel that aching sadness of a motherless child, it's followed closely by a deep admiration of my grandmother's strength, as a daughterless mother. I cannot, and hope I never have to wrap my mind around that.

Finally, as I get older myself and see my own legacy take shape, my respect for her grows and I feel a closer connection to her on that cord that ties me to her through my mom and connects my children to generations of women that even I never knew.

She's a simple woman, my grandma, with simple goals. She loves nothing more than to have a house full of guests and family and feed them all and hold babies and take care of my grandpa. And she's spent her whole life doing what she loves. Mothering. Nurturing, nourishing and loving. I don't think anyone can aspire to do anything greater than that.

4 comments:

Effred said...

You're the best. Lovely writers are my heroes.

Megan said...

You are so very blessed to have her in your lives. I miss my grandmother deeply.

sweet emmelie said...

What a lovely post. I am a motherless child too.

Sabrina said...

Tears have fallen from my eyes... wonderful words and beautiful women.