31 October 2007

IOU (Grandma)

My grandma's apartment is full of treasures.

We popped in at her place last week, piled the whole family in the Odyssey and made that ninety minute drive that we don't attempt nearly often enough. We spent the afternoon with her, and I walked away thinking how good, how very good she is at loving us.

She loved us with dips of ice cream in pointy cones, with homemade sugar cookies. With helping Elle take down dozens of tiny porcelain trinkets--roosters, angels, puppies--from their shadowboxes and line them up on the carpet in play as if they weren't the least bit breakable. With sifting through the contents of her cedar chest with me: old handkerchiefs, bitsy saddle shoes in cream and brown, Grandpa's baby blanket, my mum's dainty first dress and slip, a stack of quilts she'd hand-stitched over the years.

With letting me leave the house with one of those precious quilts, pieced together from her childhood dresses, each stitch tiny and sure.

With a trove of stories: burrowing in the church during a tornado, and the hard trek back to the farmhouse; my great-grandpa bringing home chicken feed in matching sacks so the girls could sew dresses; how she and her sister had two school-dresses apiece, and wore one for three days and the other for two, and never minded.

So much in her life has changed, has been lost, or is being slowly pulled from her. And yet she's beautiful and astoundingly strong in ways I'm just beginning to realize.

Grandma, you render my life with richness and such sweet grace.


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

It sounds so lovely. And that quilt makes me yearn to sew. Beautiful.

skatey katie said...

oh nic that quilt is exquisite.
absolutely exquisite.
what a lovely memory to take home with you X

Melissa said...

What a fantastic post! The quilt is amazing... hand stitched quilts are the best!

Unknown said...

i love the act of lining up treasures on the carpet as if they weren't at all breakable--my mother in law does this with the girls. it is something totally unexpected of her personality, too...which makes it all the sweeter.
i adore the quilt made from childhood dresses...what a legacy! =)

Wenderina said...

God, I miss my Nana. Thank you for evoking her memory.

Momo Fali said...

I can't tell you what kind of memories this stirred up for me. Thank you. My Grandma has been gone for eight years now, and I miss her still.

emily said...

such a beautiful post! my grandmother passed away when i was only in the 2nd grade . . . i so often wish she was still with us, so i too could have moments like these. i pray my parents live long, long lives so my girls' will have fabulous times like these when they are grown!

Melissa said...

What a fantastic post! The quilt is amazing... hand stitched quilts are the best!