Saturday, January 10, 2009

Waving Goodbye

It was the perfect day to walk in the garden with Grandmother. Forsythia was just beginning to pop. Birds were singing a beautiful melody...maybe to the tune of "How Great Thou Art." Daffodils were making an early January appearance. Tall pines watched from up above. A cloudless blue sky enveloped us, hugged us, and comforted us on this crisp day in the garden.

I recognize Grandmother's favorite flowers. Only they were atop a wood-grain grain resting place. Their colorful beauty contrasted against our dark attire. In the stillness of mid-day you could almost hear silent tears falling to the earth, mixed in with bits of soft laughter. In the distance, a squeaky antique merry-go-round, loaded with children who didn't fully understand our sadness, breaks the silence.

She wasn't just any Grandmother. She was my husband's dearly beloved Grandmother. From the first day I met her, she welcomed me with open arms and allowed me the utmost honor to call her Grandmother. She helped me escape my homesickness in college by escaping to her country home on Sundays to eat wonderful food, wash many loads of laundry, and take numerous naps under a clinking ceiling fan. We spent countless hours in her garden swing drinking sweet tea, making plans for our gardens, and of course, talking about her precious grandson, the man I later married. I can still hear her to this day, clearing her throat and announcing, "Oh no, I bet I burned those blueberry muffins." We'd run inside to the kitchen, and of course, they were burned but we ate them anyway. And eat we would at Grandmothers...creamed corn and tomatoes, blueberries off the bush, okra, fried chicken, corned beef and cabbage, fried apple pies and deer sausage...I can taste it all now. We would return to our college life sustained for one more week with a basket full of clean clothes.

Every Sunday afternoon when it was time to return to that life, the tears would begin to roll down her cheeks. "Grandmother, we'll be back next week." We'd smile and wave goodbye as she stood in the driveway with tear-stained eyes. I now understand. I had to wave goodbye to her this week and now I fully understand.
Goodbye Grandmother.
Thank you for wonderful memories.
You were awesome to us...