Monday, September 24, 2007
A crooked smile I love still
For those of you with children and for those of you whom have lost a loved one you were close to to look forward to...Have you ever caught a glimpse of your loved one that has passed away in your child? The tilt of their head, a crooked smile. Their gait or just the way a word will come out of their lips. Sometimes it happens so quickly you miss it if you don't pay close attention. Sometimes I see my mom's mom's smile in my daughters. Sometimes I catch myself using the same mannerisms that were her trademark. Oh, for that split second, my mind returns to her smile and how it felt to snuggle up next to her at bedtime. It always makes me smile. Like my little secret memory. I recall almost every day certain things she said to me when I was little that I had no idea I would need to know, even now. She wasn't a glamorous woman. But she did love lotion and perfumes and lipstick and powder. I think she is where I got being a girly girl from. She had many different "pocketbooks" as she called them. She had and armoire filled with hats with nets and silk flowers on them and gloves with pearl buttons from an era gone by. She loved costume jewelry. I used to paint her nails every Saturday night for church the next morning. She would let me pick out her dress and jewelry. We went every Saturday to get her hair done at Aunt Lois's beauty shop. She would pack me a little lunch and off we'd go for our weekend adventure. After the beauty shop we'd go to the grocery store. I still prefer paper bags because they remind me of the smell and feeling of going through the groceries when we returned home to find treats I had picked out. My grandmother was very feminine and had the most gentle spirit. Never complained. Never thought of herself. She'd be the first to defend someone who spoke ill of her. When she loved you, she loved you for good. I spent every weekend with her. How many times did she wave goodbye standing at her door in her little hairnet, waving 'til our car was out of sight. How did she feel when I left? I'm sure she missed me. But what were her thoughts? What were her deepest innermost thoughts? She died when I was just 13. I didn't get to have a deep adult conversation with her. About her. I would have liked to have known her as an adult. For me and for my sake, yes. But I would have liked to have been her friend. She carried many burdens and really never spoke with a soul about any of them. I know many details of her childhood and life, as I would keep her up late at night telling me story after story. I remember one night we'd stayed up late talking and I ate a whole box of those little miniature Reese's peanut butter cups. She told me not to, that I would be sick. But I did, and yes, I was sick. But I never did it again. She was very soft spoken and taught many lessons like that. Sometimes I'll see a little old lady when I'm out that reminds me of her and I'll smile. Sometimes it really knocks the breath out of me because I still miss her like it was yesterday that I lost her. But sometimes, my daughter smiles her crooked smile like my grandmother and my heart is full. And sometimes, I ask God to give her a hug for me and tell her I love her. But always I am thankful for her life and what we meant to each other.