Friday, February 22, 2013

Memoir Mondays~ My Grandmother's House

One of my favorite memories from childhood is when I lived with my grandparents. When I was 3, my parents divorced which caused my sister, my mom and myself to move in with my grandparents.  At a time when our world was changing drastically, my grandparents were a constant. A house filled with hugs and kisses. A kitchen filled with the warm smell of oatmeal and  homemade hot chocolate. There was so such things as prepackaged oatmeal or hot chocolate.  Everything was made from scratch and with love.
My grandmother was a special lady. She was the sweetest woman I have ever known. She was filled with love and shared that feeling with everyone who crossed her path. Her faith was strong. I remember a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary that was above her bed.


She had two wall resin hangings of Jesus and Mary that hung in her living room. I recently have started searching online for vintage pieces in hope I can find something similar. She attended Mass every Sunday and cleaned the church. I remember one time when I was around 8, I asked her how we knew if there really was a God. She said we just had to ask God for faith. Somethings we just have to believe in. It was a simple answer and It's all I needed.
I loved spending time with her. She talked to you and listened to all that you had to say. She made you feel like you were the most important thing in the world. She spent time playing with us. She knew who we were even when we didn't have a clue.
I loved playing shoes store with her. She had a closet of shoes. Shoes she had collected over the years. She was extremely frugal and never spent much on herself. Her expensive shoe collection was from many years. She had all types of shoes. Sandals, high heels, mid-heels, low heels, wedges, strappy, classic and so many more. She had blue, black, tan, brown, white, gold, and silver. The only color I don't remember was red. She was much too practical for that. She would sit in her armchair in the living room and pretend she was a customer. I would ask her, "What are you looking for?" She would respond with whatever she was looking for. I would then head into her closet and pull out the selections that would fit her description. I would return with my stack of boxes and then help her try on her "new" shoes. She would pretend some didn't work and then finally decide on the pair she loved.
She would play store with me and we would shop her kitchen. She would select the items she needed from my store. I would write-up her receipt and she would pay for her groceries. I would bag them into a brown paper bag.
I remember one time when I was sick with the flu. I had slept for days and finally woke up one night feeling better. She got up with me while everyone was fast asleep. She fixed me something to eat and sat with me. We talked and looked at old family photo albums.
God knew I needed a grandma like her. My father's mother turned her back on us after my parent's divorce.  She was two grandmas for my sister and I. She gave us more love than we could imagine. She made up for the hurt we experienced from the divorce.
At the time, I didn't realize the memories  we were making. I was a small child just spending time with my grandma. The days of playing and sharing secrets mean so much to me. I wouldn't trade them for all the gold in the world.  My grandparents didn't have a lot of money and didn't buy us lots of gifts but we received the greatest gift of all. LOVE! The time I spent with my grandma are precious, cherished moments. Moments that didn't last long enough. My grandma passed away at 68 years old, way to young. They say the good die young, but I think God knew she was so special and wanted her back with him in Heaven.
At first I was angry, I even asked why God would take her but leave our other grandmother who had abandoned us. I couldn't understand why God would do that. I still don't. My grandma died when I was 15. My father's mother passed away 2 years ago. She got to live to a ripe old age. At times, I still question God's motives. I know we shouldn't but sometimes I think we can't help. I recently came to the conclusion that maybe my grandma knew what was important. She got it. She knew living was about loving. She loved us. She had learned the meaning of life. I think God leaves some people on this earth  a little longer so that maybe they can figure out the real meaning of life.
I look back at my life and I think she would be proud of the woman and mother I have become. I wandered around lost  for a while. I drifted away from faith. I was focused more on trying to find happiness in worldly things.  I look back and am saddened by how I was.  I know now what is more important in life now. God and my family. I am thankful for the early lessons she taught me.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my grandma.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel her presence.
I am blessed that she was part of my life for 15 years.

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