I have been spoiled in a lot of ways in my life but one way that I had not quite understood as much as I do now is that until this last fall I had 3 grandparents living and active in my life. I have always known that I was lucky to have such loving and wonderful grandparents, but to still have 3 active, not in any sort of senor care, and participating in life has been a blessing. One that I am learning more and more that few my age get to experience.
My Grandma Shirley passed away in September, not do to Covid, but of health issues she had been struggling with for years and while it was not unexpected, I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact she’s not here.
As I was unpacking boxes, I came across the above soap jar. When I was young, Grandma kept this jar full of colorful and good smelling soaps in her bathroom, where ever she lived. I loved to go in to the bathroom and stare at or smell the soaps. Sometimes she would let me dump out the jar and sort them by color or shape… they all eventually smelled the same, so I couldn’t really sort by scent. By my teens, I had forgotten all about the soap jar and so when I turned 18 and opened this up (filled with a fresh collection of soap), I was taken back to all the joy this little jar had brought me as a girl. Sadly it has lived in a box for a long time, but I am so happy to have this little piece of Grandma prominently in my bathroom now.
With the good memories, I am also trying to reconcile the not so good ones. Grandma Shirley like to tell tall tales about a lot of things and people, whether I knew them or not, she felt was important for everyone to know. I am coming to realize though, she didn’t do this viciously, she was lonely and wanted to keep the conversation going. I know that her tales have hurt people, including several family members, but I pray that she was able to make peace before she passed and that the rest of us can forgive her. We all need to let the trouble of a dead relationship rest in peace and remember only the positives for her memory to be eternal. The longer we hold on to the disagreements in life the more it will impact our life as there is no one left on the other side to help fix it.
One of the traits Grandma exemplified that I hope I embody as I grow is her charity. Grandma was not a wealthy woman, and many would argue she gave far beyond her means, but she gave everything with love and from the heart. She sewed and quilted quilts and blankets for charity, family and friends. She made clothes for anyone she thought might have a need. She gave generously to her 6 granddaughters, every holiday, whether she could afford it or not. I pray to be a little more fiscally wise, but to take on her generosity with all my heart.
Memory Eternal Grandma! Forgive me for not writing this sooner. It took me a while to find the right words.