Saturday, January 17, 2009

We: My Mother, My Granddaughters, and Me

Grandkids, oye vey. Who would have thought that becoming a grandmother would be so much fun? My own mother died nearly a year and a half ago. Although our relationship was at best, complicated, I loved her and miss her presence in my life. I think about her often and even find myself dreaming about her (and this is a big deal because I don't generally remember my dreams). The other night, for instance, I drempt I was trying to contact her. I sometimes wonder how I would react if my mom actually appeared as a ghost or I heard her voice on the phone or had some other paranormal experience ala Ghost Hunters (you know that goofy show where they investigate reports of hauntings?). In my dream, she gave me some sort of sign (which I cannot remember now) letting me know that she was still here, there, somewhere. It's strange to admit that I awoke feeling.....comforted.

As I read back over this paragraph, I recall that around the time my mom died I did have a strange experience that seemed kind of paranormal. As I was laying in bed one night shortly after she died, crying and thinking about her, the sweet and unmistakeable smell of roses filled the room. I looked, a little puzzled, if not alarmed, carefully around the room. No roses to be found. There were a few bouquets from the funeral; one on top of the refrigerator, one on the dining room table, but no roses to be seen. My mom loved roses, pink roses. My dad used to grow them in our backyard and he'd bring the most perfect ones in and hand them, lovingly, to my mom who'd arrange them in bouquets all around the house. That earthy scent of roses would fill the air then, much like it perfumed the air as I lay in bed grieving on that sad night. A sign? Who knows.....but maybe :)

I was never a mother myself. Who knows why that happened. I didn't sit down one day and say to myself, "OK, for this and that reason, I'm not having children." It just happened. And I never thought it bothered me much until I surprised myself as the clock struck 12:00 on July 14, the eve of my 40th birthday. One minute I was sitting on my parent's couch talking about all the plans we had made for my birthday; the next, I was flinging myself across the cushions, sobbing. I was not married, not in a relationship, and certainly not about to have children, ever, from that point on.

But I am loving being a grandmother...a Grand Mother. And, I love watching my granddaughters grow up. My littlest granddaughter was born on my birthday...yah, how lucky can a grandmother be, especially when Grandpa's birthday is July 7th and Dad's is July 19th. I remember the itty-bitty being she was that first time I saw her and laugh now at what a chubby-cheeked little 6-month old princess she has turned into. My 3-year old granddaughter (who I am reading to in this picture) is Miss Personality and really becoming quite the little learner. Every time I see her she knows more words, speaks more complex sentences and has grown a little taller. It makes me stop and think even more how time passes, day by day. I don't see my friend, Deb, for 2 months and she looks no different. If I didn't see my granddaughters for 2 months, I probably wouldn't recognize them!

I now find myself sitting comfortably between my granddaughter's lives new and just beginning and my mother's life recently ending. My grandmother's life, a quiet and distant memory is ever in the background. I am grateful to my grandchildren! They help me remember my place in life.

La grégue
My grandmother's drip coffee pot
still sits on my stove
a gift of my mother without a recipe
but with an understanding of the ritual
of making coffee in a patient manner
three teaspoons full of boiling water at a time
and then three more
until the pot is filled
It's just as we have lived our lives
my grandmother
my mother
and me
little by little
like making coffee
in the "grégue"
La grégue

Sandy Hebert LaBry

1 comment:

  1. Joy great Blog
    Im glad I remembered to check it out.
    Grammies and Grammpies are so important to children. Thank you for spending time with the girls. I was close to my grandfather, and never got to know my grandma.
    Hugs Bethany
    P.S. Brian and I are BIG ghost hunter fans :)