Mother met me after school that day with the news. "Honey Grandma Just passed away." As she embraced me she asked quietly, do you want some time alone with her before they take her away?"
Immediately I knew I wanted to go to her soMother walked with me to her door.
As I entered the room, I noticed the apron she always wore, still hanging on the post at the foot of her bed.
I reached up removing it I wept into it.
She had dried my tears with it, many times before.
I looked at her small hands, now lifeless, and recalled the memory of our small hummingbird. Together we had watched it outside our kitchen window. It would come to drink nectar from mother’s honeysuckle. I became attached and named it.
However the cat, wanted lunch one day. he had swatted it around until no life was left She had found me heartbroken, as I held it lying limp and wet. In my minds eye I saw her as if it were yesterday. She had taken the tiny bird from me, gently placing it in her apron to carry it inside. Then ever so carefully she made an opening in its breast with her small pocket knife, (she always carried one, for apples, splinters, or other important things.)
After cleaning it out she then filled it with salt and told me to get her sewing basket. Meticulously she stitched its opening together and cleaned it with alcohol.
Handing it back to me she said, “Let it dry for a while, and you will be able to keep him for a time.”
Although it did not seem the same little happy humming bird, she had done her best to allow my wound to heal. It’s tiny body lay so stiff in my hand with its brilliant colors.
While the incident left me feeling depleted, it was dear to me. . She had given me a bit more time to keep something I loved.
As I watched her still body, I wondered how I would manage without her.
Looked around, I saw her old Bible lying on the table which stood beside her rocking chair. Sitting down, sweet memories flooded my soul of the things she had enjoyed in life.
She loved to talk. The stories she would tell kept me laughing, each time she told them.
Often she would tell me, “Remember even when you don’t think anyone will find out , God is watching. He tells us, “Be sure your sin will find you out!””
On many Occasions, happy or sad, one of her favorite saying was, “Life is in the living of it, one day at a time.”
I looked at her still small mouth. After her stroke, she could barely call her son by name.
We had talked about this day. She wanted to prepare me for a time when we couldn’t talk.
“Honey, she had told me, this old body is getting all worn out and some day I will have to move out , but don’t you worry, I’ll have a brand new body.”
Our relationship was eternal. It had been the Bible verses that she taught me, that had brought me to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I knew now, Grandma was not there, it was just the house she had lived in. She had moved out.
To recall all of the times she was there for me would be impossible.
As I fingered the apron I felt a bulge in the pocket. Checking, I found two silver combs. They had been part of her daily adornment, used to hold her soft silver bun in place. Some string, and one small smooth pearl stone waiting to be added to our rock collection.
I couldn’t help thinking as I smiled, with tears running down my cheeks, “No red or green rubber bands?”
They came on the newspaper, and she was sure I might need them for my braids.
Time had stopped for both of us, but I was grateful for the many simple treasures she had given, memories for a lifetime.
She taught me, “God gave winter on purpose you know, Death always has to come, before life begins.”
the honeysuckle bush of that spring reminds me of that tiny little humming bird and her compassion.
Just as the seasons come every year, memories of grandma come with them. There is a verse that says, “...There works do follow them”
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