This is the first post about my grandmother, but it won’t be the last. How could it be? The memories of her extraordinary love will forever be a part of me.
I lost my Nana back in November. It’s fresh and I’d only be kidding myself if I pretended I wasn’t still very actively grieving. There’s been many moments in the last few months that I’ve reached into my pocket and, without pause, pulled out my iPhone to call her and share a piece of good news. Benny’s first steps. Being recognized with a leadership award at work. The Pats securing the Conference win. As I type this, tears roll down my cheeks; reminders that those attempts didn’t connect and I was deprived of the sound of her voice, sharing in my excitement.
And then there’s moments like the one today. After work I headed down to my grandparents house to check on my grandfather. It’s still strange stepping across their threshold. An act that used to bring so much peace and joy is now met with a hard wall of unease, of emptiness. Stepping in her house presents the jarring reality that physically she is not there.
Like weeks past, my grandfather meets me at the door with a hug, small talk, and a list. I welcome the hug, enjoy the chatting, and groan a bit at the list but quickly oblige to help in whatever is needed. He’s been on a cleaning kick, going through her belongings and making decisions about what to keep, what to toss. Today’s awaiting project for me was the upstairs closet- filled mostly with unstylish, decade old formal wear. Dresses from every event she attended and, as I push back the hangers, immediately I’m met with the mental picture of her smiling ear to ear all dolled up, her hair perfectly rolled, her shoes and purse matching.
I breathe in her scent. As I hang the last dress and place it back in the closet, my eyes go to the floor where there’s a laundry basket full of purses. I pick it up and dump them across the bed. One by one I go through them finding a few pennies, a safety pin, and some random crumpled up receipts. I pick up the last of them, a sequined silver clutch I recognize like no other. I picture her carrying it and suddenly she’s standing there in the room, closer than the air I am breathing in. She’s beaming with pride, not because she looked beautiful that day (and she did), but because “her girl” was dressed in white. In my hands I held the clutch she carried to my wedding.
I undo the clasp and am overcome. In my palm now sits two place cards and a perfectly wrapped 6 year old Heath bar, our wedding favor.
FAVOR, (noun): a token of love, a small gift
FAVOR, (verb): to show kind grace, approval or support, a preference for one person over another