our journey of hope and healing through autism

You Are My Sunshine

You Make Me Happy in chevron

My grandma passed away last week.  She has been sick a long time and I think it will be a welcome release for her.  She gets to see my grandpa again, and I believe she will get to greet James, who died during childbirth, who she never had the privilege of raising.  I like to think that her beloved parents, grandparents, and great grandparents greeted her shortly after she departed this life.  I know she loved them.  She passed on their stories to me and through her, I came to love ancestors I only knew through her memories.

I like to think of Grandma, released from the constraints of the failing physical body that in recent years clouded who she truly is.  I can picture her-her soul- with her mind clear and bright and astute.  Her strength of character, her uprightness and the loving heart that wrapped my childhood in the comforting blanket of knowing that someone was fond of me.

I like to picture her as the dark haired young mother I’ve seen in so many old photographs- restored to all that was best and brightest about her.

There are so many memories of her jumbling about in my mind.  From her distinctive danish modern decorating style, to her penchant for rearranging furniture.

As I child, when I was sick and my mother was at work, my grandma would care for me, and rub my  feet to soothe me.  I remember how many children and grandchildren came and went in her home.  Everyone always seemed welcome.

I can see her writing quotes for Relief Society lessons on large lined pads of paper in her model handwriting on topics like food storage and protein combining. I remember buckets and buckets of food storage,  #10 cans, and the interesting things she had in her pantry-homemade root beer making kits, and whole cans of baby corn and water chestnuts, which it turns out aren’t very good on their own! 😉  She could make even soy protein crumbles taste good! Pork & beans, cottage cheese, and pineapple was a commonplace snack that she would fix for us.  I didn’t realize until I was much older that this wasn’t a go-to combination for most families!

She taught me to dust, and to make “hospital corners” with the sheets when I make the bed.  She encouraged me to help with the cooking and cleaning at home so that my mom didn’t have as much to do when her work day ended. I remember one summer day, plunking down in one of her mid century modern Eames swivel chairs, thumbing through the dictionary, and declaring I was bored.  “I’ve never been bored a day in my life” she declared- and I believe it!  My first experience with furniture refinishing was on her back porch.  We worked together to strip and refinishing  and reupolster a dining chair that had been her mothers, which graced my bedroom for years. She loved photographs- and used her trusty Polaroid camera to take pictures at family events.  So many of my interests, I think I first learned from her.

She always touched up her lipstick before heading to the grocery store.  She put on “slacks” and a blouse for doctors appointments, which I still do to this day.

I remember the cages of parakeets that she cared for, the beloved fruit trees in her backyard, and the horse trough that for years was a make shift sand box for grandkids to play in.

I’ll never forget how she would tell me that we were kindred spirits, and how I knew that even though I didn’t fit in with most of the kids around me, I was treasured.

My memories of her are a mish-mash of everyday moments, but ones that have blessed me live immeasurably.  I love you, Grandma!


5 comments on “You Are My Sunshine

  1. Robyn (@AutismHealer)
    May 29, 2013

    This is so sweet. I’m sorry for your loss. Makes me miss my Nanny.

    • holdingtomorrow
      June 1, 2013

      Thank you, Robyn!

      • Donna Jayne Dingwall
        June 2, 2013

        Beautifully put…wonderful memories to cherish. xo

  2. sarah
    May 31, 2013

    I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like a lot of your Grandma’s traits will always be with you. She sounds like a wonderful woman and you are taking right after her!

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2013 by in feelings, Uncategorized, What's Up Lately and tagged .
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