Lace and Avon perfume. Seersucker fabric and pink rollers. Readers Digest and a Bible, side by side. Lemon drops in the frosted glass dish and hidden treats. Laying in her bed after a bad dream, her arms wrapped around me, holding me tight. Her little black poodle, Lady, who she loved and I played with. Her stories of my grandpa and snoring contests. Telling me to “Quit your barking” when I coughed and “Don’t let the penguins out” when the refrigerator door was open. How she liked peanut butter and butter sandwiches, but I didn’t because they stuck to the roof of my mouth. Walking on the beach and snuggling in against the wind and spray. The Snoopy she got me for my 1st birthday, that still sits by my bed.
These sweet memories that wrap themselves ’round and embrace my memory, squeezing my heart and shedding the tears. The love and the joy, before the Alzheimer’s stole her memories. Before she was wheelchair bound and nursing home laden. Before the news came that she was gone and the African Violets lined the silver casket that was lowered into the ground, next to the man I never knew. This woman who loved her flowers and her Jesus.
Lil’ Girl asked me last nigh if any of my grandparents are living and I told her no, that they died long ago. And though I miss them, the ones who I knew and the memories told of those I didn’t, there is peace in knowing that I will see them again. And there is something beautiful in letting the memories embrace you and hold you close.