Thursday, June 5, 2008
It has been two years since my grandmother took a trip across the country to visit her daughter's home in California with her first born twin daughters. It has been two years since her presence has been missed by our family, two years since she passed away, days after arriving back to Ohio from her great train adventure.
Grandmothers are sometimes overlooked, loved greatly, but not truly known by their grandchildren, a craving mystery by their children. My grandmother stoically survived raising 11 educated and productive children in rural Ohio. In the years I was blessed to have her (when she was 65-85 years old), she enjoyed the wealth of her labor; her family, secure in her lovely big house. I thought she had little to say, unless of course she was telling someone what to do, as mother's always do, but now I think maybe I just didn't listen.
On her trip to California, to my surprise, she told me many stories, things about her sisters, how she used to dance, stories about my grandfather and her, a constant stream of conversation. I enjoyed it, I took it for granted and my father and I told each other, she's going to be around for years to come, she is so strong in mind. We were so wrong, this trip was her last.
It's funny what you miss about a person. I miss her large hands, the way she chewed, and her smiling coyly. I missed how she always wore great jewelry and when we went any place other than the Home Town Buffet she would say, 'I always end up ordering the wrong thing', which I now often find myself saying.
I think I have her big eyes, her big bones and a bit of her thriftiness that my cousins and I kiddingly call, 'the Knueven gene' passed down from our mother's and father's because these were the lessons she taught about being grateful and the value of the dollar.
I still think of her on her farm.
I still think of her as if she is in the distance somewhere, possibly dozing, listening to business reports, as she always did. Or maybe, maybe she is softly humming, quietly content.
I hope I am like her when I am a grandmother, when I am older, I wish it so.
at 9:40 AM