Sunday, April 5, 2015

     For those of you fortunate enough to still have living grandmothers, I hope this is food for thought. My paternal grandmother has been gone for well over 50 years, and I can honestly say, I still miss her. When I think about Hilda, a smile fills my heart and my eyes light up with love. She was an amazing women, as many of your grandmothers were/are. I am proud to say that due to the fact that my father gave his time and love generously as she grew old, I learned quickly to respect and appreciate the legacy she would leave to me. I am also proud to say that I see that legacy in the kindness, thoughtfulness and wonderful listening skills of my own daughters. I pray they pass these qualities on to their own children.

     My grandmother came to the United States at 18 from Scandanavia. She spoke no
English and had no job. She and my grandfather were married very young, and they had to learn as they went. With three children underfoot, my grandmother ran a boarding house where she cooked, cleaned, managed boarders and children on a daily basis. I’m sure they all relished the wafting scent of her homemade Swedish coffeecake each morning along with the coffee brewing on her white porcelain stove.

     My fondest memories of her were many years later when I sat drinking her coffee, devouring her coffeecake on her front porch. She would sit facing me and ask me question after question about my college boyfriends, my studies, my music---every aspect of my life. She clung to my every word. She made me feel like I was the most important person in her world. How many people make you feel like that? A better question might be, how many people do you make feel like that? This quality is a gift:  to be sincerely interested in others. My father and my aunt both inherited that quality, and so did I. If you can’t be interested in others and don’t know how to make someone feel important or special in your presence, then what’s it all about, Alfie?

     Today, just because, I would love to invite my grandma to sit on my porch. I would like to hug her and tell her how much I love and miss her. I would like to ask her all the questions I didn’t know to ask when I was on her porch. I would like to send her back up to Heaven after our 24-hour gift of time knowing that I made her feel like a million dollars. Thank you, Grandma. I love you.