Speaking of Grandma - Goodbye Too YoungWritten by Carol Rice
Grandma said goodbye too young. Through my 12-year old eyes, she'd lived a long life when I said goodbye to her. But old and young are relative. Now that I'm, well, not 12 anymore, I realize 67 was too young. Grandma was vigilant about taking care of her diabetes. I remember purses and pockets full of sugar free candies that tasted just as sweet to me as any candy I'd ever had. Probably because it was slipped to me by her soft hands. Occasionally, she would let me sip from her favorite sugar-free drink – Tab. I remember several times a day she would go to the refrigerator and take out her small bottle of insulin. She would roll it in her hands to warm it up. The little glass bottle would make a clicking noise as it rolled past the rings on her fingers. I loved that sound. It was the sound of Grandma taking care of herself. I still think of her when I roll something in my hands and hear that same clicking noise. Even though the disease made us say goodbye when grandma was much too young, my 12 years with her have provided me a lifetime of beautiful memories. I've lived knowing that young and old are relative, and in honor of my grandma, have tried to make the most of whatever years I have.
I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
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