It’s been 11 weeks since I lost my grandmother. My heart still aches. Yesterday, I was watching Pearl Harbor. Or maybe I should say it was on while I was working. I hope I am not ruining it for anyone but the after the love interest “dies” at war, the woman waiting back home still gets letters. The friend that hands them to her apologizes and reminds her of the delay in mail.
My first response was, “that would suck.” Would you want to read letters from the dead?
Then, I thought about my grandmother. I would love to read letters from her right now that I hadn’t seen before. I am so thankful I have her written thoughts and memories for our book. If you follow me at all, you know that I am writing a book, Save the Butter Tubs. It incorporates her writings. The whole book was her idea. She wanted me to write a book about all the good in her life.
I guess when you get in your 90s you start reflecting and she w
as counting her blessings. It’s been an amazing journey learning her stories. I miss having our morning talks during my visits.
Last night my husband rented, Collateral Beauty with Will Smith. I knew it was going to be a heart breaker. After all, his lost his six year old daughter. I tried to distract myself with my phone so I wouldn’t bawl all the way through the movie. Will Smith is a good actor. So many of the emotions I am feeling, he was acting out.
While I didn’t lose a child, and pray I never do, the pain of losing someone I was so close to, someone I was working on a huge project with, someone I admired, respect and loved so dearly…it’s just a lot to process.
The week before Easter I went to my grandmother’s home to collect the last bits of furniture. I took her dining room table. Who would have thought that a dining room table would represent so much? First, she had it forever! When I was a child about seven or eight is when she must have purchased it for her new house. I remember polishing the pedestal and all the chairs. Now, I have to laugh at how she made us crawl under the table. She was 50 years my elder so at 57 or 58, she was done crawling around on the floor when she had us littles that were so close to the floor. I get it and I’m not even 50 yet!
Many family meals, and game nights were shared around that table in the almost forty years she owned it. I remember clearly the last time I sat at it with her. We shared breakfast tacos. She would love that I took the table. In fact, before she even moved from her home at 92, she started giving me things. She wanted to make sure the things she valued and treasured went where they would be equally valued and treasured.
It took me a while to decide on the table. I have a beautiful table my husband and I bought in 2005 when we moved into a new house. My table has six nice chairs with it but could fit up to twelve people around it if we pulled up odd chairs from around the house. Grandma’s table actually has twelve chairs! Her table is oval. Mine is rectangle. Her table has a pedestal and mine has four legs. A few things you don’t really think about until you try seating twelve.
That’s what made me decide. I had a lovely group of ladies tha
t I teach on Wednesday nights over and we squished around my rectangle with corners jabbing into the unfortunate ones that got those spots. I got up, took this picture and text my sister, “I’ll take the table!”
I never really connected to the fact that I am the only one in my family that entertains in our home on a regular basis. We love entertaining, sharing a good meal with friends and family. Game nights are always a plus here as well. We’ve only had the table a week and have entertained three times! It’s been wonderful! All my ladies seemed to enjoy it as well. I should have taken an after picture. (who knew I’d be posting about a table?)
Getting the table was like reading a letter from Grandma. The flood of memories and emotions that come to me every time I sit at it, every time I entertain and every time I dust it. What a treasure!
Writing has been different since Grandma left. I have days I could just write forever. I think I’m having one now. Then, I have days that I write about technical stuff or masterclasses because I don’t want to open my heart. Pain seeping out, hurts. At the same time, it is the most precious time. I feel her. I can see the light in her blue eyes sparkling as she is telling me stories. She had a way she would hold her hands and move them when she talked. It is so vivid in my mind. I pray I never lose that visual memory.
Well, I am going to wrap this up. I need to get ready for church this morning and I need to blow my nose from all the tears running down my red face. It’s an ugly cry kind of day. Time to wash my face like my mom used to make me do after I’d cry as a kid. It always seemed to help.
I do want to leave you with a few thoughts to take into your own home:
- What do you treasure and why?
- Does anyone in your family know the answer to #1?
- Don’t wait. Share now. Things are just things, but they represent you.
- How does what you treasure represent you?
- Would you read letters from the dead?
I’d really love to hear from you in the comments if you’re brave enough to open up. Be brave.