14 April 2011

Day Sixty-Two: Happy Birthday, Granny!

Today my Granny Gunter would be ninety years old. She died 25 March 2010 and I couldn’t be with her. Because of an estrangement based on lies, I missed the last thirteen years of her life and was over one thousand miles away from her when she died.

My granny had a rough and tough personality, but inside she was a cuddly bear. You just had to get through that rough exterior into the very heart of her. As a little girl, I was afraid of granny, but as I grew older, I came to understand what made her to be the way that she was. The more I understood of the life she’d had, the more I grew to love her.

Some of the best times of my life were spent at granny’s house. We went there for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year while I was growing up. Granny even cooked Thanksgiving dinner at our house one year after David and I got married. I loved her turkey, dressing, gravy, and pineapple-coconut cake.

The only part I didn’t really like about going to granny’s house was that she did not have an inside bathroom. She had an outhouse until the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Granny was a quilter and she made quilts for each of her grandchildren and then her great-grandchildren, too, until she was no longer able to make them. I was in high school when I received mine. I love that old quilt. When I was first learning to sew, she and I had a few animated conversations about quilt making. I used a rotary cutter to cut many strips at a time; she used scissors and cut one piece at a time. I used a sewing machine to put the quilt together; she hand-pieced every square on each of her quilts. She said that what I was doing was not “real” quilting.

I don’t think that I quite got what she was getting at back then. I thought she was talking about the process of it. In reality, looking back, I think she was speaking more about the bonding that happens between you, the fabric, and the receiver when you spend countless hours lovingly cutting and stitching something of this magnitude for a loved one.

Ok, Granny Gunter, you were right. I give. I wasn’t really quilting; I was making a blanket and making it fast, but missing so much in the rush to get it done quickly.

Granny taught me more than I realized and maybe even more than she ever realized. I miss her so much.

Granny, I love you, and I hope that this second birthday in Heaven is all that you ever imagined. I’ll see you in a while.

62. I am thankful for Granny and turkey and pineapple-coconut cake. I’m thankful for quilts pieced with love and long waits ended. I’m thankful for outhouses, ladybugs, and old country houses, long dirt roads, and history and family. I’m thankful for first days and last days and new days coming.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment