Thursday, January 20, 2011

Someone Watching Over Us

     As a child, I lived in a house with a Mom and Dad, 4 siblings, an Aunt and a Gramma.   In a quiet suburb of Chicago. A house like all the others on our block, except we had a Gramma, right there every day ! For as far back as I can reember, Gram was there. She mended our booboos, got us off to school and loved us unconditionally. I was the first grandchild. There was never a doubt that you would need to tow the line. Dinner was always, without adoubt at 5:30 Monday through Saturday. This time did not fluctuate, nothing threw us off course. Monday was laundry, Tuesday she ironed, Wednesday and Thursday I am not sure of , but Friday . That was cleaning day. Serious , kids did not interfere with the days events. Floors were scrubbed, furniture polished and everything in its place. No matter what. Through all of this , Gram sewed and crocheted to make as she called it...pocket money. The pocket money she off course spent on us, maybe an occasional toasted almond bar from the Good Humor man as she bought us all popsicles. She didn't ask for much, she just wanted us to all grow up to be nice people. That said I think she did a grea job. Yes, I have a couple teflon spatula marks on my butt from reminders she gave us occasionaly. All well deserved though.
  As a child I was never sick. My brothers had everything rom tonsilitis and asthma, to seizures and broken bones. Gram got them through all of it. One brother laid up for months with 2 broken legs , she taught to crochet to kill the time. My sister and I were very lucky and not sick. Later though after I was all grown, or so I thought. Gram came to make me all better. With the birth of my youngst daughter, there were complications. Cheryl needed surgery at three hours old. When I came out of recovery, foggy and scared, there was Gram. Magic washcloth in hand. She would sit and wipe my forehead until all as over and I felt better. On a few more occasions, she appeared at the hopital and di her magic. If you aske dher what she was doing she would just say...its my job, I am the Gramma.
   Gram is gone now but not ever very far. A few days before Christmas I was looking through an old box trying to ind something new to work on. There I can across an old pattern. A pinafore Gram had made too many tims to count. She was a much better crocheter, as she could take any pattern and knew just how and where to add or subtract to make any size. On the back of this old magazine page in her writing were a few of her changes. As I read this tears started to flow. Gram was right here again, helping me out.Never a doubt, she always knew just what to do and when!
  Now, I have 11 grandkids and 3 great grandkids of my own. I use some of Grams tried and true methods and make sure that we all remember her. I went to Chicago and styed with Gram her last few years as her mind slipped and she forgot alot of things and people. Looking back I think I was trained for just this since I was a child. I can remember apromise from Gram after my Grampa died that she would not go ANYWHERE until I was big enough to take care of myself.  I held her to that many times over the next thirty years. Back in the 70's my Great Gram came to live with her and was promised she would never go to a nursing home. I made Gram that same promise, and did my best until it was more than I could handle. For a little more than 2 years my hubby and I dated on weekends when he would drive down from Wisconsin. It was hard for everyone, but looking back I think I didi all this more for me than her. I was not ready to let Gram go. When she finally did need around the clock care I came daily even ,  she did'nt remeber who I was. I made sure she ate lunch and was safe and cared for. She was there, but no there. If asked, she would say I was the sister in law or nurse. But, ask her where Patti was and she would reply at school or grounded to the porch. The porch was a usual spot for me to get punished to!
   I want the kids to remember the Gram who sewed the Christmas outfits, made perogi with a kitchen full of girls. The one who never showed up for an event without her potato salad and coleslaw. The Gramma who loved you no matter what, she did not neccesarily like what you might have done but loved us unconditionally ALWAYS.  We all held a different place in her heart, we were wht she lived for. Her lifelong job was GRAMMA.

   As I sit here and work up the little pinafores for the etsy shop, I get a warm fuzzy feeling. It is like an inner hug she sends, just when you need it. That is the feeling I hope I can get across to my grandkids. If so I will have done a good job at being a gramma and that was the lesson she had been trying to teach me all along.
Gram probably did not hear I LOVE YOU nearly enough .  I can still see the glimmer in her eye as someone would compliment us on the beautiful baby in the handmade christening gown, or those adorable holiday dresses the girls had. All her handi work and made with love. 
  That is my goal, to make her proud of me every day and give my Grandkids the beast Gram since mine!

1 comment:

Carol McKenna said...

Yes, I do believe ~ 'they are watchin over us' ~ I love this writing you are doing and it warmed my heart ~ thanks for sharing ~ hugs and namaste, cz:)