Sunday, November 06, 2005
They talk about amazing grace, it meant something when I saw your face
It's November and I catch myself thinking of my beloved grandmother. If you'll recall, she's the teensy, saintly, dead one. Her birthday would often fall on Thanksgiving. She'd be 95 if she was still around, but she hasn't been for 10 years now. She loved this time of year. Toward the end of her life, when her health was failing, she tasked me with buying all the gifts she'd give for Christmas. She'd make a detailed list and mail it to me months in advance. I was already a grown man, at least twice her size, but she seemed to delight in calling me her little elf. I saved what turned out to be the last Christmas card she'd send me. In her wobbly scrawl, she wrote this: You hold a special place in my heart. I have always loved you and I always will, my little elf. The last picture I have of us together is from that Christmas. Just before the shot, I stuck a Santa hat on her. Her eyes brightened, she cocked her head a little, and smiled. Perfect. After she died, and we were going through her things, I was amazed at how little she had; how little she needed. I was trying to decide what to keep of hers. It might sound strange, but I took her mixing bowls. Every year for my birthday she would make, at my request, not a cake but instead the most incredible apple dumplings you'd ever hope to taste. Her pastry? It was heaven, guys. Sometimes I'd drop by her place and help her bake them. She used the same mixing bowls all those years. You might not look twice at them. They're kinda 50's gaudy with stylized sunflowers all over in orange and yellow. They're beautiful. I don't bake, but I somehow find excuses to get them out anyway.