April 18, 2011

April's Advent

I used to get a card every year on my birthday. Inside was a happy wish and a little poem, usually to do with the month of April. Themes centered around rain and flowers and spring and Easter--renewal--all hand written in a halting script, denoting that whoever took the time to write it also took pains to do so.

I was thinking about my great-grandmother yesterday morning as I was washing dishes. She was a traditional person with traditional manners. She'd had an accident that left her with quivering hands, yet she wouldn't hear of anything else but showing us in and serving us drinks and snacks from a platter. I never saw her wear pants, only dresses. Always dresses. I remember one time helping her in the kitchen to get her snack tray ready, filling each empty compartment with finger foods. She asked me if I liked pickles (which at the time was one of my main food groups), to which I nodded vigorously. She handed me the green, dimpled thing and I took a big bite. The taste that followed was not at all what I expected (I had no idea that there were more than one kind of pickle). But even at seven, I was old enough to understand that it's rude to complain about what you've been given. But my face couldn't tell a lie. She just laughed and said, "I thought you said you liked pickles!"

She was a joy. She had a wonderfully western pioneer name: Elmoyne. I think it's the "oy" sound that makes it. I also have a grandpa named Doyle. ("Oy with the poodles already!") She's passed away now. It'd been a long time since I'd heard from her since her health wasn't great. It's tough to grow old.

I wish I knew where some of those forgotten cards were. In a box somewhere, presumably, or a binder. I wish I could go back and read those cards again as I could use a message of renewal right about now, rebirth, new beginnings. I could use a message painstakingly written by a loving hand, telling me that time passes, but we all go on, we all move forward, and it's okay. And she is. She's alright. And I'll be alright, too.

1 comment:

Cami and Juan said...

This is a reminder of why I keep cards I get from people. A beautiful post, what fond memories. And I did catch that Gilmore Girls reference, classic.