Marilyn

I am no longer anyone’s granddaughter.

The last of my grandparents, the last of my parent’s parents, is gone.

As usual, with the passing of a loved one, I find myself looking at family and friends, feeling a sense of wonderment for the way one single person can touch so many lives.  What she meant to each of us, the different roles she played in our lives.

Marilyn was my grandmother.  She was so very much my grandmother that it is hard for me to call her Marilyn.  She is grandma.  That is how I have always known her.  But first, she was a daughter.  A sister and a friend.  A wife and a mother.  A beautiful woman, who loved her family and God very deeply.

Although I am now 35, most of the memories I have of my grandmother are through a child’s eyes.  Sadly, there is a disconnect.  Perhaps because of the 50 year age difference, but more than likely because as I got older I saw my grandparents less and less.  Alas, the regrets we have when time runs out.

But thanks to her I will always, always have …

Christmastime in Kansas City.  It was pure magic as a child, even if a bad case of strep throat kept me up long enough to discover Santa Claus did not exist.

That crazy Spring Break ice storm.  Giant icicles everywhere!  I had never seen anything like it before, or since.

Roller skating around and around the basement with siblings and cousins, calling each other names.  “Nerd.”  “Turd.”  “Nerd.”  “Turd.”  “Nerd.”    Round and around.  The basement door opened and grandma looked down at us with her arms crossed, eyelids fluttering faster than a hummingbird’s wings, her voice shaking, “Do you know what a turd is?!”.  Well of course YOU all do, but I honestly didn’t at the time.  And I was shocked!  Stunned into silence because ohmigod did she just say THAT!? … until she shut the door and we were all reduced to fits of giggles.

Long summer days watching The Little Princess, The Secret Garden and my favorite, Anne of Green Gables.

The sound of her voice reading stories to me.  The sound of her voice singing hymns at church, confident and unwavering.

Shelves full of Lladro and other beautiful, delicate pieces I thought belonged in a museum.  I was a terribly clumsy child, so afraid I’d break something.

The smell of red wine, which as a child reminded me of communion, which made me think of the blood of Christ, which totally freaked me out.  Run away!

Scrabble.  I lost a lot of games, but discovered a love of words.

Grandma in the kitchen, the heart of her home.  Where I learned how to set a table properly, to keep my elbows off the table, to pass the salt without reaching across a million people and (of course) “no singing at the table, no whistling in bed or the boogie man will get you by the hair of your head”.  I can hear her now.

And let’s not forget the best meatloaf in the world.

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6 thoughts on “Marilyn

  1. This is pretty much how I remember Grandma to a tee! You said it all so much more eloquently than I could have. Thank you! And I have teared up reading it as I knew I would. Love to you all.

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