Saturday, November 24, 2007

Going Back

Boy, it's been awhile....are you still with me out there? I haven't had very much to say lately, because I have been kind of in a reflective mode. One where all I can do is listen and just take it all in. Times like these are often where the deepest of deep thoughts come in, but I wasn't able to blog about it because it simply would have taken brainpower, energy and time that I seriously needed elsewhere.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I really did. My sweet brother and his family came down and, as usual, we have really enjoyed having them. We went to go see the Bee Movie last night with the whole family and had a great time. I was so blessed to be sitting there with all of these people that I really love, and it reminded me to continue to give thanks to my God during this holiday.
My brother brought down a bunch of boxes and a cedar chest from my Grandparents home where we were raised. They had been transported all over the place with my Dad after my precious Grama passed away in 2000. He finally gave them all to my brother and I to go through after all these years. I cannot tell you what it felt like to open the cedar chest that contained so many family keepsakes from a time even long before my Grama. And the smell....I can't believe it still smelled like home after all this time. My brother and I just buried our faces in the handmade quilts and blankets to deeply breathe in something we never-ever thought we would sense again.
The home that had been in our family since 1853 was sold after my Grandfather died 11 years ago. I am not what one would consider a materialistic person, but I have grieved the loss of that house from the moment it was no longer "ours". It won't go into details here, but my poor Grama never wanted it sold either...and I know it completely broke her heart when it happened.
I guess I will just leave it at that.
Anyway, it's amazing that something any other person on the planet would consider worthless, can be something so precious and irreplaceable to another. As Mark and I were going through one of the boxes, he pulled out this statue of a cute little dog that always sat on the hearth of my grandparents fireplace. Of course, it didn't mean a hill of beans to him, and he was getting ready to put it in the give-away pile. But, when my eyes fell on that worthless little dog, you would have thought we had struck oil. The memories came flooding back about how my Pap, ever the animal-lover, would admonish us with "Now, don't you touch that. Hear?" But, as soon as he would walk out of the room, neither of us could help but sneak in a quick stroke of it's glassy smooth head. That thing sat in the living room of our home through every single family gathering, every single homecoming and every single lazy Sunday afternoon. It strangely was representative of who we are and where we came from, and when I showed it to my brother, he was just as happy to see it as I was. He will now reside, in his proper place, on the hearth of my brother's fireplace.
Even better than finding our old friend, were the love notes between my Grandparents that were stashed in the far recesses of a safe with all of the important documents that they had (including the original paperwork for the sale of the land in 1853!). I cried so much when I read these beautiful expressions between the two people that I completely adored. One of them was even stained with the coffee that was discussed in it. Another one was quite literally sealed with my Grama's kiss. That one really made me cry.
I went to bed last night with every single emotion stirred up imaginable. It was good to reflect on something that seems so far gone and so far away because it brings to the surface, my heritage. I don't think about it very much, because frankly, it is so painful. I miss these two people who practically raised me more than words could ever express. I would give anything to call them up to ask how to tend to a certain vegetable, or to share a funny antic of the kids, or just to say that I am sorry that I was such a rotten teenager. I would give anything to tell them how much they meant to me and how I wouldn't know the Savior that I now serve without their influence in my life. I would love to hug them and kiss those wrinkley cheeks one more time, but I can't. Not this side of Heaven anyway.
The amazing news is that one day I will be able to and for that, I am thankful on this Thanksgiving.

13 comments:

javamamma said...

Beautiful post and tribute to your Grandparents. Brought tears to my eyes...

Good to hear from ya again!

Gayle said...

What a beautiful reflection of your grandparents. The love letters would be such a treasure to have. So glad you're back! I missed you.

Drewe Llyn said...

Oh, Gayle, I'm so glad God brought you that treasure box. Even though it was time for your grandparents to go home to their reward, God brought you comfort through that special gift. I'm very happy for you and glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. May the blessings continue.

reformed grits said...

So sweet. I know what you are talking about seeing and thinking and smelling those old memories. Words fail...
:-)

Melkhi said...

Thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve and writing it down to share with us. The love you describe is a beautiful gift from God!

carrie said...

That's beautiful!! Thanks for sharing the memories...

Cindy said...

That box sounds like a gift from your Father! That was beautiful.


Miss you!

Emily said...

I had big ol' tears streaming down my face. I totally understood your little dog that meant so much to you and your brother. When my grandma died she had 9 kids, zillions of grandkids and I was just in the mix.

When they were going through her costume jewelry they just took ziploc baggies and gave one to each granddaughter.

By a sweet angel....I got a baggie with the ONLY piece of plastic jewelry that I'd ever cared about. A red/white/blue necklace that my grandma wore at 4th of July.

treasure I tell ya!

what an awesome treat for you. I'm totally jealous.

and we can take reflective posts like this.....we miss them!

The Bullocks said...

What a sweet post! Thanks for sharing. :-)

ConservaChick said...

As I read this post I felt like I was swept up into a good novel. Your words were almost tangible! Beautiful!
Oh, and THANK YOU for the super kind words you wrote on my blog! ~Karlie

vintagechick said...

gayle, that was such a sweet story. i've been there with the boxes and smells that take you back and its all so real it aches...

Ruth said...

Gayle,
This is a beautiful post. Isn't it wonderful that you are finally able to hold some of those precious things again. I am so glad for you and your brother.
Ruth

EEEEMommy said...

What a poignant and eloquent post! Such a precious gift!