Thursday, October 30, 2008


This is her birthday week. She would have been 85 years old. I miss her.

It's been two years since she has been gone. It seemed like after Granddad passed away that her health failed pretty quickly. But before that, she was energetic and full of fun especially around the holidays.
She loved telling the story about dressing up for Halloween not too many years ago and sitting out on the front porch like a mannequin. Then when families would come up to ring the doorbell she would let out a cackle and scare them. She loved to have fun and always made every holiday exciting. We would go trick or treating each Halloween and always end at Grandmother's house. She had punch and dessert for us as well as a plate--an entire little plate all wrapped up with a pretty bow--for each of the grandkids. We would save that pretty plate for later, but then we would sit on her floor and dump out our other Halloween candy and bargain and barter with each other over the best treats.

Here she is in 2002 with Granddad in the front room of 1510 Conant Avenue. I think this year has been especially hard for me because I keep expecting that I'm going to make a trip up to Burley to see them and she will have chili on the stove when I arrive and we will sit on the blue "divan" in the living room and catch up on the news. Then I will go to sleep in the pink bedroom upstairs and wake up in the morning to the smell of popping bacon and sit in the little breakfast room and eat Apple Jacks with half and half.

The Colonel and His Lady no longer reside here. But it is imprinted in my sight and sound and smell. I know the way the front door screen slammed when I walked in; I know the dark interior of the three-story laundry chute from childhood play; I loved the shocking daylight brightness of skylight at the landing up to the 2nd floor that is only there because of a fire in the sixties; I loved the wall of windows in the pink and blue rooms that made them seem like our own treetop hideaway; I remember the magic of a "secret closet" in the blue room, the hours of childhood dreams that were offered up in the dress-up corner in the basement, the neat preciseness of Granddad's tools at his workbench and the green fridge in the basement that was always fully stocked with Pepsi.

I miss her jokes, her constant giggle and her strong opinions. I miss seeing her in her apron at the stove. I miss washing and drying dishes at the beautiful, long, free-standing kitchen sink that she simply adored. I miss her pretty dining table at Thanksgiving and Christmas and the tempting smells that wafted continuously from the kitchen throughout the long, tortuous hours before we could sit down and enjoy the feast. I miss her crystal and her china and all her lovely things in the china hutch she brought back from Germany. I miss her bright outfits and her sparkly earrings and the boxes of clothes she had under her bed for when she went down a size or two.

And I miss reading her letters filled with her love of beauty and her poetic soul.

She is Grandmother. Irreplaceable, unforgettable and missed. I love you, Grandmother. Happiest of birthdays this year with your handsome Colonel. I have a feeling that the home you are making for us there will be just as full of your light, your love, and your laughter.


Lori Sume said...

what a very sweet tribute! they sound like such amazing people. I know they are watching over you.

Rus said...

I miss them too.

Megan said...

You made me cry...I miss her too.

The Ashtons said...

That was beautifully written, Eden. I wish I could write like you! Your grandmother sounds lovely.

Mary Jane said...

Thanks for the very vivid memories. It's a really hard thing when you can't go "home" anymore. I miss them both more and more as time goes by. It will be a wonderful reunion on the other side.

Eric and Rozanne said...

I remember them too, and have wondered how they are. I remember the sign above the door. I visited you at their house a few times. I really enjoyed the pictures. You are a beautiful writer. My dad's parents have both passed away in the past few years, so I know what you mean.

Kristin said...

I hope Grandmother somehow got a peak at this...she would have loved it.


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