I loved spending time with my kids when they were little. I still enjoy my time with them and try not to feel sad about how fast time goes by. Soon they will all be out of the house, and I don’t always know what to think about that. I am grateful for their growth and independence, and I am aware a whole new chapter will start when they move away.
One day I realized that the day will come when I get to be a grandma! How exciting. It’s kind of like I get to do it all over again. I think it will be wonderful.
I have a terrific mom who had a terrific mom. I am very thankful for this. I was going through some things the other day and I saw a card my grandma had sent. I loved looking at her handwriting, which was always cursive, and never changed through the years. Her message was so her. It was sweet, heartfelt, humorous, and loving. I was lucky to have her in my life. I’d like to share a piece I wrote about her.
Questions I’ll Never Get Answered
I’ve been hungry for peanut butter cookies lately. Preferably the ones that have a chocolate kiss in the center, on top. We usually only make these around Christmas time, but there’s no rule that says you can’t have them in September or any other time, for that matter.
So, I decided to look for a good peanut butter cookie recipe, and I found one of my grandma’s. I was very close to my grandma. She was everything good bundled into a sweet little package. She was 4’11 with loving eyes and a very sweet laugh. All of the sudden I felt a rush of emotions, really like when waves come rolling forward, and you just stand there and watch with amazement and wonder. To say I miss her every day would just be stating a simple truth. First, I felt elated that the recipe in the cookbook I was looking at had her name on it as one of the creators. My little grandma, an author. I felt a connection to her at that moment. Then deeper emotions and thoughts came.
What was her life really like? Was she really happy being a farmer’s wife? That’s what she became when she got remarried after my grandpa passed away.
I long to live in the country, and I love animals, but did she? When she lived in town during her first marriage I don’t believe they ever had pets.
I have an old, large, red scrapbook of hers. It’s rather fancy and formal looking, the opposite of the grandma I know. It’s full of newspaper clippings, recipes, and handwritten recipes. It was a scrapbook she made when she was married to her first husband.
I was surprised at some of the clippings: articles about entertaining, and tips for the homemaker; recipes for holidays and different seasons; fancy, formal recipes such as Oven Braised Stuffed Veal Hearts, Jellied Shrimp Bouillon, Lamb Shanks with Tomato Gravy, Lyonnaise carrots, Petits Fours, and strawberry chiffon rosettes, just to name a few.
She also had recipes in her own handwriting: Ice Box Cookies, pie crust, popcorn balls, and fudge, even one for homemade soap.
Did she entertain? Make any of those high brow recipes? Did she dream of more? Or aspire for more culture in her life?
She is the one who taught me that it does no good to complain. I honestly don’t remember her ever complaining. Her life wasn’t easy. She lost her mom when she was young and she lived through the depression. She lost her husband and became a widow. She remarried and had to go through loss again. Did she know this truth because life had taught her this?
She was wise and kind and had common sense. What made her happy? I know babies did. She loved rocking babies, as do I. She also love flowers and people. But, what else really made her happy? Did she wish for more? She just seemed happy. I think because she was so grateful. What did she love? Hate? I can not imagine her hating anything or anyone – it just didn’t seem to be part of her nature.
My mom told me once that her mom never yelled or got mad. I am sure she got aggravated, but she didn’t seem to have a temper. I simply marvel at this. Perhaps she was wise enough to know that losing your temper or getting mad does about as much good as complaining.
Did she keep a journal? Did she have any desire to? If she had, would she have been honest in her writing? In how she truly felt at the time she was writing?
I can ask my mom next time I talk to her if my grandma ever wrote things down. I am guessing that she did not. She was probably too busy living life to take the time to write about her life. Probably her old red scrapbook is as close as she got to keeping a journal.
I have always kept a journal, and though somewhat guarded, I do write about my life, about myself. I may not write down every detail or every thought and emotion, but I am honest; and someday I may have a granddaughter who adores me and wants to know me better and maybe she’ll pick up my old journals and get to know the real me.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Sunday, I hope you have a wonderful Grandparents Day!