Longer and Tighter Than Necessary
By: Kelli J Gavin
I miss her. My grandma Charlotte. So much. I felt like I was just getting to know her and then she was gone. After a life well lived, she was no longer a part of my life. My grandma used to tell me she was old and ready to meet Jesus even when I was I was little girl. She seemed ancient to me, but couldn’t have been more than maybe 70? I don’t know. I was never a good judge of age.
Grandma used to decorate so beautifully at Christmas. Her mantle was a feast for the eyes. And she didn’t even mind when I touched. She would tell me the stories of each piece. Who gave them to her, where she purchased them from or whom she was blessed enough to inherit them from. She smiled during each storytelling affair and often became a bit misty eyed. She would quickly wipe away a stray tear with her kerchief and say, “Oh look, my eyes are leaking again.”
I miss the way she washed her silverware by hand after Christmas Dinner. I would sit and watch and think, yes, someday, I will also wash that silver. (Yes, I now put it in the dishwasher.) I miss watching her place the stemware and china back in the cabinets. Delicate placement, each finding their home until the next celebration.
I can’t remember a time when Holidays weren’t spent with grandma. She would even host a spectacular 4th of July as it was quite possibly her favorite day. She and I shared the birthday month of June, so the 4th seemed a perfect day to celebrate together. She would hug me close on those days. Hug me longer and tighter than necessary, but I didn’t mind.
Those silent lessons. The way to decorate a home for Christmas and make it so warm and welcoming that no one would ever want to leave. The way to care for your silver and store it so everything would be ready for the next time it honored the table. But mostly, she taught me how to celebrate. How to enjoy family. How to love. How to hug and hold on longer and tighter than necessary.
I miss my grandma at Christmas. I miss her every day. But now, I share these lessons learned with others. And so many other amazing stories and adventures that I shared with my grandma. And by doing so, I keep her memory alive. I honor her. I remember her in those lessons learned.