Remembering Grandma

Grandma – my memories of you are clouded. More clearly than my time with you, I remember the feeling of being loved by you. I could disappear in your hugs. Random thoughts do still bring me comfort.

Sleepovers with cousins in your basement.

The smell of fresh biscuits or chocolate chip cookies.

Thanksgiving day house bursting at the seams with your loving children and grandchildren.

Playing Rummikub and cards with you and Gunnar – Moyaifodent?

I was fascinated with your lazy eye as a child. I thought you could see right through me.

EVERY time I saw you in my adult years, you told me how handsome I was and how much you loved my facial hair. I felt a little bad about being clean-shaven for your funeral.

Your hugs were heavenly and always looked forward to on my return trips to Ogden.

I wrote a book once, and, in my desire to share myself, gave you a copy. I think it terrified you to see so much of me laid out bare and raw. You seemed very concerned and asked me to “come back to us.” Grandma, I never left. I may have ventured away from the path you would have chosen for me, but I never left. That path has always been, and will always be, connected to you and our family.

Despite it all, she never treated me any differently – there was always ample love. I have never sprung to tears as quickly, instantly and fully as when I received news of Grandma’s fall. At the time, I might have guessed I was incapable of producing tears. All of the regrets are for naught; Grandma loves me no matter what. Grandmothers are the cornerstone of civilization. Through their uncompromising love and unconditional acceptance we learn how to care for our own loved ones. Caring is the foundation of civilization. Grandmothers are the Master gardeners of love.

And even so, I must say some of my favorite memories of Grandma came after she moved in with my parents and I became witness to another, less loving side of her. Her disdain for the cats and dogs was entirely unsuspected. Her sharp words for them shocked me at first. She even got short with some of her family, which I would not have thought possible. With a short step backward, I think I began to see more clearly however. I was simply seeing the side of her I had avoided or was protected from, as she did with me and my profanity-laden book. There are few things in this world more justified than ornery old women.

Grandma, I love every part of you. The part that always loved me no matter what, as well as the part that seemed to hate my dog.