This beautiful woman is my children's Great-Great-Grandma. My Grandma Mac. She really is a beautiful person. Inside, outside, upside-down and sideways.
She passed away this morning. I miss her already.
I'm having an impossibly difficult time finding a starting place here. So many thoughts and memories are swirling around in my head today.
I suppose I could tell you about her drawer of puzzles that was faithfully there every time I went to visit. I could tell you about her shelves of nic nacs in her retro clad home. Everything was beautiful and wonderful. We could look, but not touch. And look we did indeed. Through saucer sized, wonder filled eyes. Our wistful little fingers curling in our pockets as our childish imaginations got the better of us. And then of course as I got older I noticed the rows and rows of binders absolutely exploding with years of family history, beloved quotes and stories, tale-telling photographs ranging from black and white to sepia and then to full out color. Pieces of my own genealogy, beginning long before I existed.
And this is just scratching the surface.
For Grandma Mac's home was a place to be cherished by all children, young and old. And all children, young and old, were cherished there in turn. It was warm and inviting and a safe harbor to all who entered.
There was the beautifully kept yard that greeted you. Filled with flowers, grass and concrete animals. As any grandparent's yard should be. The citrus trees that in my younger years, seemed to stretch for miles. Grandpa's shed in the back yard that seemed so empty after his passing. The giant pecan tree that supplied the pecans for Grandma's delicious pies. The shells atop the ancient refrigerator that seemed such a treasure to us grandkids. We never took them, just left them for the next lucky child to come across.
I wonder if they are still there.
Blackberry vines grew along the fence on the side yard. It was a special occasion when I was able to find one and consume it. Leaving the tips of my fingers stained a deep purple. There was the swing set of which I am certain took more than it's fair share of beatings over the decades. It was a dear old friend. Walking through that rickety white washed gate was like walking into a whole new world. The hardest part of being there was trying to decide what I wanted to do first. There was simply not enough time in a day to accomplish all I would have liked to.
Still greater was the love you felt at Grandma's. The peace and the sanctity of her home was something I will never forget.
It is hard for me to accept that somebody else could make that home theirs. After filling it with forty-eight years of life, it seems as though the home itself began moulding its way around her. Like a pair of good old blue jeans. Accustomed to the way she stepped across the floors. I am sure it misses her now. Could it possibly be the same without her there? I think that her spirit and love will always linger in the walls.
It has always been important for her to know of where she came from. And to leave a trail of herself with her posterity. She did a wonderful job of it. One of the last times I saw her, the last time she was able to hold a full conversation with me, we flipped through one of her books. What a treat to hear her tell me, for the last time, the stories behind the photos, the people behind the faces and the importance of it all to her.
She was a beautiful and strong woman. I have always hoped that a little bit of her trickled it's way down to me. I can only hope to live a life as beautiful and noble as hers.
She is an example to me and always will be. A shining light to all those who had the pleasure of crossing paths with her.
I love you Grandma. I miss you. I am thankful for you.
All My Love Forever, Ash