I long for the days of chasing leaves from the great big oak tree outside my grandparents front door. My cousins, siblings and I would walk to Grandma's house after school- all 5 of us- and go racing through her front door. Grandma always had treats and homemade goodies for us to devour....and chocolate milk just because. She never seemed to mind that five ravenous children rummaged through her cupboards and fridge everyday at 3:30.
Grandma (or Top Grandma as we called her) smiled and giggled in a way only Grandma could. She delighted in our presence. The special memories that only a Grandmother can offer her grandchildren linger warmly in my heart. She always had Double Mint gum in the top drawer of the hall dresser. And the bottom drawer was where Grandma stashed the colors and coloring books that we loved to use.
There's something special about a Grandma's house...a Grandma's love. I never remember Grandma getting stern with us. I remember smiles, hugs, and laughs. Grandma loved life-she was jolly and loving and warm. Grandma's house was the designated meeting place on Halloween...to be comforted by her homemade cookies and hot apple cider. Her's was the home where we waited impatiently during the football game as grandma prepared the turkey and stuffing for our Thanksgiving meal. Her's was the home where Christmas Eve memories were made....and every year chili was eaten. Her's was the house that we hid Easter eggs for the others to find....all day long. It was the hub of our family; the place that our childhood was spent; the refuge we mourned the loss of Grandpa; and the abode Grandma vacated when Alzheimer's attacked.
So my memories are just that.....memories. They are heavy in my heart burning with sadness from what has become. No treats and apple cider, no waiting for turkey during football, no homemade chili while waiting to open gifts, no Easter egg hunts in the trees. The laughter that echoed no longer greets her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren will miss out on bear hugs, stories, and rock-a-byes.
We wait for the Lord to take her home...to walk with Jesus, to giggle with grandpa, to play cards with Grandma Hazel, to chase her grandson Rydell, and to rock her great granddaughter Reagan. Until that day, we wait, we pray, we hope, and we love as Grandma taught us to love.