Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Color Card

Tomorrow is Thursday and it will have been two weeks since my grandma died. The days since her funeral truly feel like a blur as Holy Week has come and gone along with assorted illnesses in my family. Many details of the past two weeks float unattached to days or times. I know that I had dinner with my mom's cousin, randomly, but I have to stop to think exactly what day that would have been, working backward to affix it to a time within anything else. There were flights and well wishes and worship that in some senses blend together beautifully -- a triduum that flows in my memory without fits and starts.

There's still a lot of "stuff" in the farmhouse, some of it "stuff" with memories attached. When she moved to her apartment a few years ago, most of the actual things in the house went with her. What's left is random, of little value, and some is simply garbage -- empty jars and paper plates and magazines from the 1970s.

My family went out to the farmhouse during that nebulous time when I was home. My nieces climbed the steep steps and proclaimed them scary. Many of us shed tears there that we hadn't or didn't shed elsewhere. We poked around and opened closets and brushed away dead flies and breathed stale air.

I was alone for a moment or two in what had been her bedroom. In a dresser that was otherwise empty save the drawer liners, I found a color card -- one of those strips of colors from the hardware store to help you choose paint. The colors were reds and on the back were notations indicating amounts. I don't know completely why, but I slipped it into my pocket and now I carry it with me. I know that it was my grandmother's and that's enough. It's something to hold, to remember, to remind.


Songbird said...

Pink Shoes, I remember pocketing things that were similarly valueless yet invaluable. Hugs to you.

Pink Shoes said...

Thanks, Songbird -- somehow it just felt right to take it... Similarly my mom keeps asking what I "want" and I name things like, "one of the coffee cups that Grandma always used" or "a bowl" I guess I just want something that I won't be afraid to use everyday and that is sortof plain, yet special like she was.

the reverend mommy said...

My grandfather carried around my grandmother's compact in his pocket. And he would take it out and look at it. I think maybe it's a sort of Icon -- in the real sense. Where through a very ordinary item, we can sense the presence of the person and their love.


RevHRod said...

After my grandfather died, my grandmother sat her seven children down and did a crazy kind of lottery. The kind of thing that you only do when seven adult children all want to make sure things are fair. It was interesting to hear what kinds of things they wanted. One of my aunts wanted the pink laundry hampers from the bathrooms. They are NOT very attractive. Old wicker things, rather well worn. But she wanted them.

My mother chose some ordinary and some not so ordinary things. One choice was three bicentennial plates. She figured, one for each of her children. A couple of years ago, my grandmother was downsizing and gave my mom the plates. Mom couldn't remember why she would POSSIBLY have asked for them. She brought them home and promptly disposed of them. I tease her about "my inheritance" but really I don't mind. This makes for a much better story. And besides, I have a plastic coat hanger that's got it's own little knitted "sweater" that Grandma made. It's a padded hanger basically. Grandma made dozens of them. And someday when she's gone, I suspect it will be one of the best treasures in the place.

will smama said...

Pink Shoes, I totally get this. She used it, touched it and looked at it. I kept similar items from my Gram.

Lorna said...

hugs ... may God bring you comfort right now

Revem said...

It was grandma's and that's enough of a reason for it to be in your pocket.

When my great aunts died I inherited their dining table and their kitchen scales and some other stuff. It's the kitchen scales that mean the most.

Blessings and prayers

Kathryn said...

I have, still, a tobacco tin that belonged to my father...just an empty Players Navy Cut tobacco tin. His.
And I wore a really tatty coat,- a really tramp-style, too threadbare for charity shop coat, that my father-in-law owned for the whole of the winter after his death. It felt like an ongoing hug from him.
Take care