Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong duet bled into my afternoon soundtrack today, making me think of my grandmother: Summertime

I wrote a passage, which I've posted below, not long ago for my grandma; a woman that has such a strong presence in my life, I'm honestly not quite sure what I will do when she is no longer here. Everyone's families are different, some are tight-knit like mine, others are distant and detached. I was lucky enough to grow up five houses down from my grandparents, making it seem as though our closeness was a commonality rather than a rarity.

Even in middle school, and high school during the nights when other kids my age were playing video games, hanging out at the mall or watching TV, there I'd be, sitting on my grandma's kitchen stool, playing Double Solitaire or plopped down on the floor next to her legs in the living room as we watched old 40s and 50s classic films. Every other weekend, I was sleeping over her house, soaking up so many wonderful stories about her childhood, her time as a budding student in art school, her flirtatious, smart aleck personality, her kind, patient and calm soul. I've taken in every recollection, every sad tale and whimsical reminiscing of times long passed ... sure, things have changed a lot compared to her day, but there is a place for her wisdom that is truly timeless. That place is in my heart.

She reminds me that every moment we have here on earth should be treasured, that every meaningful person in our lives should be acknowledged, always. She reminds me that I should never take those moments and people for granted, that I should spend every minute with them as though it were my last. She reminds me that no matter what strife or challenge I face, mistakes I make and stresses I feel on a daily basis, everything will pass. Everything will be alright. And when she cradles my face in her hands the way she does every time I sit at her feet -- because yes, I still sit at her feet -- I'm reminded of the innocent, imaginative child I'll always be in her eyes as well as the woman I have blossomed into. Like plants, connected to the soil beneath them, her chestnut irises always guide me back to my roots.

They always bring me back home.


Her eyes, chocolate brown and framed by those familiar lenses, always bring me back to center. But, it's more. It's her soft, scratchy cadence, betraying aged vocal cords worn from years of chatter, crying, singing, gaiety ... life. My days melt together sometimes. But my moments with her never seem to touch; each holding its own place on the wall of my mind's eye.

The weight of the daily grind buckles my legs at times, pulling my heart so low, I can hardly breathe. Yet, as soon as my hand clasps the old latch of her screen door, every furrowed knot finds release, cascading to the cement beneath me. They burrow into each shadowed crevice, awaiting my return. But none of that matters as I walk into the kitchen, the warm glow of her antiquated ceiling fixture filling me from the inside out. I step into her open arms, always waiting not far behind and it never fails, as life has taken me farther away from her, she always professes how much she's missed me. And as constant and natural as the seasons change, we float into the living room and I sink into a child-like ball at her feet as she immediately brushes her fingers through my hair, the way she's done my entire life.

All remnants of melancholy are painted white as I listen to stories of days gone by, whimsical memories of a time long past, forgotten brush strokes, the wink of my grandpa's eye, rolled up cigarettes, Pink Squirrels, Romanian dances, love, heartbreak ... life. And every time, like a sponge dipped in bath water, I pull it all in, let it fill me, soak my insides. Each laugh, each tear, every scratch upon my arm, every brush across my dimple and twinkle in her eye. Every time she cradles my face in her biased hands before I leave and whispers, "You are so beautiful."

All of it, I've captured and tied to a place deep inside me, for the days when it rains and I need an anchor, when my heart yearns for its music, for the days when nothing is as it once was or ever will be.

For the days when my own vocal cords are worn ... with life.

~ C ~


  1. So beautifully written. I had the same relationship with my grandma Nanny. I love Grams and her sweet sweet smile:)

  2. Yeah, I knew you'd appreciate this one :-) I only wish I'd met yours ... <3