My children never knew my mother (Grammy) in a physical sense, she'd passed away from ovarian cancer 4 + years before even Noah's birth. Nor did they truly know my mother in law (Grandmama) although Noah has memories of her, they were very young when breast cancer took away their only remaining grandmother.
I used to bring the kids every year to my own mother's grave. I'd spend some time pruning the rose bushes my brother planted, tidy up the area, chase the kids when they wandered too far...spend some time wandering myself, looking at the oldest stones.
A few years ago though, I just stood shivering in a late spring snow, the infamous Melbourne Ridge wind blowing down across the hill toward the St. Francis valley. There I stood. Staring at a piece of granite with "Amazing Grace" chiselled at the top. Her name below. Dates. A lifetime of existence carved precisely in stone with really nothing to say.
I took a good look around at my own children and how they felt about this tradition. What I saw was a lack of interest in some for stones and grass and fences. In another, what I understood was a concern for not causing upset to me. Then I turned back to the grave and what I saw was a stone, some plantings, some grass. And I understood. She's not here. She lives inside me, she lives in the stories I tell my children.
Since that day, I have continued the other tradition that I hold with my kids. I rejoice in having been given the opportunity to raise and hopefully release onto society 3 well-rounded independant adults. I pay special attention to make a great meal. I WILL & do wear my macaroni necklaces and dolphin bracelets. And I, to the utter delight of my children, tell stories of both their grandmothers and of my Nanny.
"More Mom, tell us about the time that Nanny saw her brother through the window... no-no tell us that sad story about the sleigh lady who came to tell Grammy that her brother died in Japan..it's my turn!! Tell us about the quilts...And who was the BEST at doing jigsaws? Grand-mama! And did Grand-mama ever scare the skin off you when she played hide & seek in the shower and you went in to go pee! Did Grand-mama hurt, Mom? Did Grammy hurt? Which one was the best knitter who never dropped a stitch? Grammy. Who taught you how to pick up a dropped stitch? Grand-mama. Who taught you to embroider? Nanny. Which one again was the pie lady? Who laughed like an owl? Why are my eyes blue & theirs are brown? Where in England or Scotland ? Are you going to leave your recipe box to me in the will? Am I dying soon? "
Never tell me that children don't enjoy history.
And THAT is where our mothers live.
Quote of the Day: I'd like to come up with something witty and interesting but it's just not coming to me so i'll stick with my standard "I still have many years left to entirely screw it all up. It will be a success to do something so wrong, so right."