Wednesday, August 22
I was absent from WordWranglers last week. Thanks so much Liz Flaherty and Cathy Shouse for filling in - I really appreciated it!
For those of you who don't know, we lost my grandmother last week, so we were on the road (travelling to Missouri, back home) and doing the family thing. You know what, though? It wasn't a sad, horrible, very bad thing. More a celebration of my grandmother's life, which I think is important. In addition to services, we grandkids were asked to come back to my grandmother's to grab a keepsake...something of hers that we wanted. My grandma was rather crafty and a few (not me, I was late to the party) immediately headed to the Frog Weapons (stuffed bean frogs, which were supposed to be decorative but which we used to pummel one another). My ever-resourceful grandmother would use scraps of fabric and milo seeds (my grandfather was a farmer) to create them...and when they would inevitably rip she would patch them back up. So some of them looked like a weird frog-shaped-checkerboard.
My older brother and I caught sight of one of her chatchkie shelves at the same time and headed over. On the shelf were some little figurines that she'd collected over the years, things no one would notice. My grandmother wasn't a rich woman. But there were two things on that shelf that we both knew we wanted: a green ceramic elephant and a set of lovebirds. Both belonged to her mother, our great-grandmother, Lillie. The green elephant is Trent's story, but I'll tell you mine. I've loved those lovebirds since...well as long as I can remember. That's their picture above.
I have no idea where Grandma Grice got them or who gave them to her, but I like to imagine it was Grandpa Grice, who's given name was David. I don't have a lot of memories of him because he died when I was small. I do remember he would hold Grandma Grice's hand. All the time. He'd reach across the sofa, pat her knee and hold her hand while they watched television. He'd hold her hand as they walked to the park. In church. I'd rearrange the birds every time we visited - one would wind up in the kitchen, while another went to rest on top of the window a/c unit. Another time they'd watch TV with me on the sofa..and Grandma Grice would follow me around the house, reminding me they were keepsakes, not toys. She never banned me from the shelf, she never yelled, just calmly followed my little girl self all over the house looking for her lovebirds.
So, for me, the lovebirds represent my great-grandparents, their love for one another and for the rest of the family. Do you have a family keepsake that is special to your heart? One lucky commenter will win a copy of my debut, What a Texas Girl Wants!