Today I am grateful for memories of my grandma, Molly Jens. I started pulling out old trays and platters for the brunch I’m hosting and found a poinsettia plate that she glazed for me when she moved into the nursing home. BING! Heartprint!
Aren’t memories odd things? Just when you think you have someone you loved tucked far back into the recesses of your brain, a few things happen, catapulting them right to the present again.
I wore my fake fur coat last night to the open house at Schulmerich Bells. One of my friends little daughters kept petting me, like I might purr. Then my friend petted my arm and said, “It’s soooo soft!”
I told her the story about why I bought it. . .because it reminded me of my grandma’s coat that I had laid my flushed face on as a child, during another grandparents funeral. I had been car sick for 50 miles and grandma suggested I sit in the back of the church with her. She didn’t hug me. Grandma was not a hugger. No one in my family was. . .except me. But she was there. Just there. Strong. Silent. With work-worn, stained, tough hands and stubby fingers, just like my dad’s. Flipping from hymn to hymn, she pronounced words “her way” when she sang. When I slipped my head to her lap, she moved the book over and put a hand on my shoulder. Didn’t squeeze, or pat, or rub me, she just let it rest there, a steadying force. It was more than enough. I petted the cool softness of her gray, fake fur coat. . .like it would purr. It didn’t. . .but I did.
I miss her. It’s been a billion years. I’ve lost a lot of people. But at the brunch I will use the poinsettia plate my grandma made; the deviled egg plate that was my friend, Sony’s; I’ll read the plaque about friendship on the wall next to my front door, from my friend Sonia; I’ll marvel at how much my grandson reminds me of my dad; and make my dear Indonesian friend, Tati Azwardi’s, recipe for nasi goring (Indonesian fried rice) and acar (ah-chahr) (cucumber salad).
They are all in another dimension and won’t need chairs, but there will be a few extra people at the brunch on Sunday. I am very grateful my grandma will be one of them.