Grandma.  This is her holding me as a babe.  She died when I was twelve.  She was the only Grandparent I ever really knew.  Several years ago, we siblings decided to have a second “sibling reunion” in our home town.   I had felt drawn to her home, where my uncle now resides.   I requested a visit there.  I had determined that I would walk through the small home place, and do some reminiscing.  We always entered the home through the back door, walking through the laundry room first and then into the kitchen.  My uncle and his wife have taken very good care of the homestead, and have made upgrades and additions.  But the laundry room floor.  That was the same as it was when I was a child, and I was taken completely by surprise when I opened the door and saw that floor, and smelled the familiar smell of Grandma that somehow was still there…and burst into tears.  My older brother walked through with me, he remembered the attic and some of the games we played there, but other than that, no one remembered anything about her.  We walked, and I cried, and I kept saying “don’t you remember…, don’t you remember…” …memory after memory flooded my mind as my senses, each one distinctly (smell, sight, touch, sound) picked up more and more memories…the flooding was overwhelming for me.  I took a walk down to the the creek (pronounced “crick”) where we played for hours.  Everything was familiar.  The flooding was overwhelming.  The tears would not stop.  But after my journey down memory lane, I settled on the porch, where we used to sit and swing.  I tried to be alone to calm myself down, but my cute mama and siblings surrounded me, rather confused by my emotional state, all helpless to stop it.  By this point, my tears were no longer for me and the missing my Grandma, my tears were for them…they didn’t remember her.  My heart was so broken, I couldn’t pull myself together.  They didn’t remember.  Anything.  She was my best friend up until she died.  I used to live for the weekends that were mine to spend alone with her.  We would always go to the store and buy canned biscuits and canned salmon (to make salmon cakes with).  She would then rest for the evening and the next day I would spend following her around everywhere, EVERYWHERE.  Mostly in her potting area, loving on her plants, repotting, and tinkering, and losing herself in her most joyful hobby.  She had a way of holding her chin, sliding her jaw to one side to rest, making her lips a little off center.  She was gentle and kind, but stern if she needed to be.  She led a very simple life, never interested in fancy anything.  No one remembered her.  My siblings were surprised by all the memories I was throwing at them, desperate to find one thing they could recall.  But they didn’t remember her.  My heart has never recovered from that experience.  Much like I never truly recovered from her death, which devastated me at the young age of twelve.  My Grandma loves me the same as I love her, and I have felt her presence throughout my life on many occasions.  I know she is around me and feels my pain and my joy because she is often there to watch over me.  I know I’ll see her again.  But.  The memories.  I’ll always be sad that I’m the only grand child that remembers.  And I’ll always be glad that at least I have the memories…deep in the recesses of my mother heart.  This is the experience that influenced the start of this blog.  I don’t want it to happen to my grand kiddos.

Grandpa and I visited some Mayan ruins a few years back.  On the long ride to Chichen Itza, the tour guide told the story of how the Mayans came to be called “Mayans.”  The Spanish barreled through everything back then.  When they happened upon these people, who worshipped snakes “the God of reproduction,” the Spaniards, who saw the snake as a symbol of Satan, destroyed everything, including most of their writings (journals, scriptures).  Years later, when they were asked their name, they replied “Ma-Yan”…Ma means “no” and Yan means “more”…they were trying to say “we are no more.”  Their history had been wiped clean and without it, they could not maintain their religion or their identity.  Eventually they became like the Spaniards.  The story was very sad to me and I realized more poignantly than I ever had before, how important journals and Scriptures are, how they ground us and keep us who we are, connected to God and family.

And so here I write.  All the memories I can think of, of my childhood, my motherhood, my grand motherhood.  So that those of us who go on before, will not be forgotten.

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  1. It’s so great that you have those memories of her to share with others. You can keep her memory alive! I tend to remember things from when I was young, without issues, but my brothers never recall them. I don’t necessarily think its because they didnt have those things happen, it’s just that their mind didnt absorb the memory! I think we are the lucky ones! 🙂

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