Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do you miss your Grandma, too?


We were on the rest home grounds...

As my husband pushed Grandma's wheelchair,

I walked beside them

She said the sun felt good,

that the sidewalk was filled with sunlight,

the first sun she'd felt in days,

except through windows that separated her

from the smell of grass and early roses

The cracks in the sidewalk jarred her chair,

and she laughed, “I'm still here!”,

as were my memories of her homemade blueberry muffins,

strawberry ice cream sodas,

and watching "I Love Lucy" on her round screen TV

The nurses were kind to Grandma

They said she was sweet, a lovely old lady

They didn't know she could make paper dolls,

the best butter frosting I've ever had,

and dried her towels over pink carnations

Bluing smells like her

Grape juice tastes like her

The top of my hands are getting to look like hers now,

my hands that reach for the phone to call her

before I remember she's not there

She visits my senses daily

Across the street from the home

were trees with pink and fuschia blossoms,

Grandma's favorite colors,

flowering only in the Spring

Can you see across the street?

and she said no, she couldn't,

not that far

And I wondered

just how far could she see,

how far back she remembered,

and did she know she'd never leave me?

Z: I was feeling sentimental and dug this old poem I'd written out. I could feel Grandma as if she's downstairs.....How I wish she was. My food blog has a Grandma post there...chime in!xx


sue said...

Z - That is a nice poem. It reminds me of both of my grandmas. I feel fortunate to have known both of them.

And I'm a grandma too.

namaste said...

i enjoyed your poem, z. especially the line about your hands looking like your grandma's. i have my grandma's hands and i miss her very much. thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem, Z!

When I can apple butter or bread and butter pickles, I think of Mamaw. Her hands are so soft. Her laughter so sweet. I'm going to call her tomorrow.

Thank you....

Mr. Michael said...

Lovely... emphasis on Love.

Faith said...

Sweet poem. I never knew either of my grandmothers. I think I have some sense of how my father's mother cooked from visiting the family farm when my aunt lived there alone, as she continued the same traditions exactly as her parents had. And they were nothing very special in the way of food except that it was all homemade, and I do have to say that the smells of that house have stayed vividly with me from our summer visits there, mostly the sweet-sour smell from the butter churn. They produced almost all their own food, gathered their own eggs, killed and plucked their own chickens, milked their cows, made their own butter, made their own bread -- had to buy the flour for that or exchange something for it, though some years they grew wheat and took it to the mill to be ground for them. Also of course bought sugar, but bought very little else. They canned everything they grew, which included rhubarb and currant jelly from their own currant bushes, even canned chicken. I'd like to have known that grandmother because she has a very sweet face in her pictures but boy that must have been a hard life. Wood stove, kerosene lamps, outhouse, water brought from the well on the hill, winters sometimes down to forty below and snow covering the barn (this was in Canada) and she gave birth to thirteen children in that little house.

Z said...

I'm very happy you all like the poem...maybe I'll post the other one. Ya, I'll go get it and add it to this one.

Mr. Michael, thanks so much, and welcome to GeeeeeZ.

Namaste, I couldn't wait for my hands to look like Grandma's...now that they almost do, NOT SO MUCH :-)

Z said...

Jen, thanks for calling her :-)
I wish I could mine. xxx

Z said...

changed my mind...I like the other one but not so much to post it..maybe some other time.

Anonymous said...

HI Z, your poem is lovely and sweet.

My maternal grandmother played a large part in my life. We all lived together at one point, and my grandmother, a grand lady, would read me most all the fairy tales, and tell us stories of when she was a girl in Trinidad where she, and our Mom were born.

She could make a meal, seemingly out of nothing. You would swear there was nothing much in the house to eat, and she would cook a meal which seemed to come from nowhere. But, there it was. That's what the depression taught a lot of folks I guess.

She carried herself with dignity and grace, my dear grandmother. Stoicism was a virtue then. It was hard times, and there was no room for complaint or whining.

She was the matriarch of the family, and the one lesson we all learned, and has stayed with most of us, is that family is everything, and especially during hard times, we're there for each other.

And to my grandmother I say simply, thank you Gam, for everything.


Linda said...

Thanks for the memories, Z. My grandma has been gone since 1984...she almost made 100. My mom since 02, and I miss both of them. Your commenters helped me remember special times with my mom and my grandma.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful poem, Z. One of your best.

I'm so glad you asked at the end, "Did she know she'd never leave me?" That makes the piece touch Eternity, and gives it special significance.

I honestly believe that no one we've loved ever does leave us -- certainly not in the realm of Spirit, which is the most essential -- and the most durable -- part of all of us.

Of course I miss seeing my grandpas -- and even more my great aunts and uncles (I never knew either of my Grandmothers in the flesh, because both had died too early) -- and now I miss my parents and all their contemporaries -- and so many dear friends who have passed on -- BUT, all of them are very much alive in my consciousness, and my life is constantly enriched for having known them.

They've never stopped influencing and informing me, and as the years go on, I think I understand the value of these people -- who they were and what they stood -- for more and more. The relationship I had with them is STILL growing.

That's on the most fundamental plane, but even so, it sure would be wonderful to see Uncle Joe and my Dad tending and nurturing their vegetable gardens, building their retaining walls and flagstone patios, and burning the tent caterpillars out of the birch trees once again, and to be able to walk over to Great Aunt Etta's on a sunny afternoon for a cup of tea and some homemade biscuits and marmalade.

Even though they may not have thought so at the time, there remains something beautiful in the memory of seeing my mother and great aunts pinning the wash to the clotheslines on clear breezy days. When I was four, I loved the "job" of handing them clothespins out of the basket.

Can you imagine remembering the time before washing machines and dryers existed?

And then there was the autumn magic of raking leaves into the gutter with my Dad, setting them ablaze, and carefully watching and raking around the edges until they were safely consumed into ashes.

Faith, your testimony, which I know to be unimpeachable, should make us all wonder why most people still find life so difficult, despite all the many conveniences and labor-saving devices we now take for granted?

In many ways our grandparents seem almost super-human to us -- at least to me. How they did it, I'll never know. Maybe it was simply because they HAD to in order to survive? And then, they didn't have all the inane distractions we have today -- TV -- the internet -- cars -- supermarkets -- the titillation of incessant political, sex and financial scandals -- and Walmart.

I'm afraid our culture has trivialized the most vital aspects of our humanity by making them appear largely "unnecessary."

Memory is one of God's greatest gifts -- especially if we can learn and draw courage from it.

~ FreeThinke

sue said...

Pris - When you said the your grandmother could make a meal seemingly out of nothing, it reminded me that my mother could do the same.

We would sit down at the table and I would always think: this is not going to be enough - and yet it always was. And I always fix too much.

Z said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody......I love hearing your stories, too.

FT, I'm very pleased you liked the poem........

Pris and Sue; We have so many conveniences and they did so much more with so much less. It shows me that the way we're spoiling our children and weakening them with over indulgence and not scoring games and not having them come to awards banquets if they aren't getting an award, and giving them too much in the way of cell phones, iPods, fancy sneakers, etc., isn't helping but weakening somehow. At least that's my sense.

We need to toughen up through having to earn our way, we need to honor our grandmothers and the women before them and remember how much they did in harder times. I'm rambling and maybe not making my point very clear, but....it's a sense that I get.

Anonymous said...

Z, you're not rambling, you're right.

As parents it's our task to prepare our children for when they go out into the world.

It's not our task to give them the impression that the world revolves around them. That does our children no favors.

Absolutely, they must learn that earning the fruits of their labors is so important. If they do, they'll always be self sufficient and responsible citizens.


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