Memorial Day Moment

(Grandma Madeline, Grandpa "Lum", my Dad and Aunt , Fife WA c.1944)

After having too much fun Memorial Day, Miss Is came down with the crud; coughing, sneezing, sore throat… you know all the particulars. Not only was I exhausted from the festivities, (those of you who witnessed just how ‘festive’ it was) I begrudgedly did the motherly duty and took care of my fallen Farmer.

I had tried to keep her downstairs with us but with David having an early morning (not that I have to get up or anything too) and Maddy unable to quiet bouts of coughing and moaning in between fits, I conceded the battle and retreated the both of us to her room.

Now that she was all snuggled up in her own bed, I stared at her with what light seeped through the blinds. “When did my baby get so big?” There was no way I was even going to try to survive the night sharing the twin sized bed.

Ignoring the toys and books scattered all over her bedroom floor, I pulled the trundle out and then started a one-woman raiding party. I snatched a small, lumpy pillow from D.J.’s room and another, less-lumpy one from Devin. Now all I needed was a blanket and those would be found on the two, top-most shelves of the game closet. I pushed aside the sleeping bags and blindly grabbed for the first blanket I could find then hoofed it back to her room.

As I plopped down on the trundle and tossed the blanket over myself, I was caught off guard by what was now covering my lower half. It was my quilt, the quilt my Grandma made me. It had been years, quite literally, that the tear and chocolate stained quilt had done anything other than sit on a shelf. Through my adult life it has always been the ‘just in case’ blanket that was never really meant to be used – hallowed even − stowed away just out of reach and knowing that it was there in the dark recesses of my mind was enough.

At once I remembered what all this quilt and I had been through together and how much I missed the aged, arthritic hands that had lovingly, painfully sewn each stitch. That because her namesake lay in the bed next to mine, the poignancy and the irony of the situation more than tugged at my heartstrings. A few hours too late, I had my Memorial Day moment.

Grandma never officially served in the military but she had raised several young men who did, spanning the later years of WWII, the Korean War, and even Vietnam. She was a remarkable woman, rooted in faith and humbled by her many, almost an unfair amount of life’s struggles ranging from poverty, illness and death.

Lying there, staring blankly at the ceiling as I was reluctantly pulled along Memory Lane by my younger, more innocent self; Maddy’s latest coughing bout brought me back. Motherly instinct took over, leaving the girl in white, knitted knee-high socks and an orange and brown plaid jumper back where she belonged. Somehow I managed to catch the surprise vomit in the tub that only a split-second ago held the plastic versions of brownies, sliced cheddar cheese and a miniature sized box of Duncan Hines cake mix. It was then that I understood how Grandma did it.

Love your children. Hold their hands, kiss their boo-boos, scold them for being naughty and praise them for their efforts whether they are successful and especially when they are not. Teach them respect and humor; how to work hard and how to have fun. Instilling a healthy sense of duty and honor, to take pride in ideas and people wholly worthy of it.

Grandma had never known the all too common phrase but lived and understood it better than anyone else I have ever known…

Families Can Be Together Forever

1 comments:

  1. Forever Young said...

    Stacey,

    Thanks for sharing,and taking me down memory lane with you. You have amazing writing talent, I LOVE reading your blog.

    Lora