Saturday, January 29, 2011

Legacy And Eras

A few days ago at the grocery store, I saw a woman with her daughter and granddaughter.  She seemed to have difficulties with navigating the stores and had recruited her family to help her.  They all consulted this crisp sheet of paper, with neatly written items which seemed to march across the paper like soldiers at drill.  Their three heads bent to examine, and discuss whom would get what.
This woman, this grandmother, looked like your favorite granny in her soft shades of brown, beige and teal. Her hair neatly in place, her handbag matching her shoes. I'm sure she would have worn gloves to match as well, maybe even a bonnet.  Modesty was her name.
At the checkout stand, she trailed behind her younger generation, allowing them to serve her.  They all exuded love and patience with each other, even with the gaps that divide some so violently.
Time to pay.
She opened her sparse wallet, and the granddaughter takes out only what is necessary.  Money is exchanged, items now in bags are placed in the cart and the family leaves me behind.
I miss my grandmother.
I used to do the same with her. Only, I wasn't so gracious. Patience with her, I had none. I was the impatient teenager, eager to get on with my life. Upset that my grandmother was slowing down. Sure that she was slow just to spite me. How ignorant I was.  How foolishly young and naive.
Such a precious treasure, lost. I remember many things about my grandmother.
She was always dressed nicely, even if she only stayed home. She was always modest. Her hair, makeup and jewelry always looked nice. Her handbags matched the shoes on her feet. Her smile was always in place.
She always had a kind word and gentle hug. She gave of herself, even to a selfish youth. She enjoyed the very air she breathed. She would paint such beauty with a stroke of her brushes. She never took her citizenship for granted (although she was proud of her heritage). She would sit and listen for hours, listen to music, birds, wind, her husband, me. She loved to cook, but left the candy making to her husband and his little helper, (me!).  She loved her family more than they knew or understood. She loved her husband until the day she died, 6 years after he did.
She was from another era.
I am blessed to have known my grandmother as I did.
But I miss her.
I am her legacy.
I'm the grandchild who spent the most time with her, learning from her and observing her.
What do I do with it now? I don't know.
Who's legacy are you?

Blessings (& Bonnets and gloves!)

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