Friday, July 3, 2015

I Remember

I remember the smell of my grandmother's kitchen.

It smelled cold. Comfortable.

Clean, with fresh hot coffee brewing. A faint scent of dish soap in the background, because even though she had a dishwasher, she still washed a lot of dishes by hand.

Cold, and somehow so so inviting.

And her pantry. Oh, how I adored the smell of it! Spices, herbs, crackers, bread, nuts, dried fruit, and cereal. It mixed into the most wonderful homey smell. A smell that, if I ever catch a hint of it anywhere else, instantly transports me back to that pantry, where she would stock Cheerios when I visited because she remembered I liked them. And always had Shredded Wheat on hand. Where she let me try, and then inhale, dried dates and mango during every visit.

A place she kept tins of cookies, because it was usually Christmas when we came to visit. Snickerdoodles are what I mostly remember. She made the best snickerdoodles.

All of us visiting would gather in that large kitchen. Around the table, at the counter, or in the living room that had no separation from the kitchen.

It was a large, happy, loving gathering place when the family got together.

Cold, and so so full of warmth.

My grandmother was generous. So very generous and wonderful.

She taught me to knit.

I still have two pairs of knitting needles she gave me when I was young. Two of her "extra" pairs. It's a skill I have been able to grow in and use to give to others. Something that, every time I make something, reminds me of her, sitting with some project in a basket and her hands while she watched the news.

She taught me how to sew, and I still think of her every time I sit at the machine, or hold a tissue paper pattern in my hands, because she helped me sew my very first piece of clothing at a fairly young age. She guided my hands around the curves of the arm holes as I sewed, helped me pin the thick denim fabric together.

She taught me that it's ok to say "no" to gifts and requests, because respecting yourself and standing up for yourself is more important than trying to please everyone else. And she never took offence if I did tell her no to something.

She taught me that experiences and people are far more important and treasured than things.

She taught me love.

It's been almost 2 months since she died. And so much longer than that since the surgery that changed her.

I had to miss her funeral, because we live so far away. It hurt so much to not be there, to not be with my family to help pay tribute to her life and lay her to rest, to not hurt with the family who was missing her and hurting.
So I honour her in my own way, by continuing to use the values and skills she taught me.

My grandmother, my Grandmom, was a wonderful woman.

I miss her so much.

4 years ago
The last time I saw her


  1. This is a wonderful tribute!

    1. Oh man, I could write for ages. Don't think I did her justice here at all.