Wednesday, December 21, 2011

her hands

i miss my grandma josephine all of the time. i think about her a lot during the holidays since my childhood christmas memories were all at her and grandpa's house.

i remember the decorations. i remember how the tree looked. i remember the ornaments. i remember the lights she had on the front porch that constantly changed color. i remember the tinsel. i remember her cookies. i remember all of the food. i remember being so excited when i was picked to be the kid to pass out the presents. i remember the true excitement of opening presents.  i remember grandma's house being so warm because she always had the heater going. i remember going to bed and being so excited to see what santa would bring in the morning. i remember not being able to sleep because i wanted to hear santa and the reindeer when they landed on the roof.  i remember having stevie and nerd to tell me to go back to sleep when i would try to get them to wake up and go downstairs at like 4am. i remember showing grandma and grandpa what santa brought me. i remember the year santa brought me a yellow shopping cart and plastic food and how i wheeled that around their house for hours with absolute delight. i remember feeling that i was in a house full of love. i remember the joy grandma and grandpa had when their family was gathered together in their house. i remember how grandma would hold your hand, she would hold your hand between her two hands.

today i read the paper coterie blog called "these hands" written by april meeker and i have copied it below. i miss my grandma holding my hand.

I don’t have pretty hands. It’s a fact. I’ve come to accept it. They have always been wrinkly, like I just got out of the bath, and my nails are often chipped and black from working with silver. I usually hide them in my pockets when I am feeling self conscience.

I tried getting fake nails to glam them up a bit, but they just looked like wrinkly hands with thick plastic ends. I spent the first day of my honeymoon ripping them off.

I inherited my ugly hands from my father, who, in turn, inherited them from my grandmother. My grandmother’s name was Vola. Vola Wyatt. She was the pinnacle of our family. She made Christmas happen.

Her hands, her wrinkly hands, kneaded and draped and clipped and cleaned and stirred and smoothed until Christmas, Campbell style, materialized. Then she dialed and served and presented and hugged and made each of her grandkids feel like her favorite. I miss her so much this time of year my chest constricts each time I make one of her recipes or catch myself humming the way she used to hum. And, oh how I miss her hands. If only I could feel her stroke my hair or grasp my arm. If only I could plant one more kiss on her downy cheek.

And now it is up to me. I have to put my hands to work and recreate the type of Christmas I had as a child, the type of Christmas I want my children to have.

They are large gloves to fill.

i remember.

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