Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bittersweet Simple Pleasures

It's cold here today and so I wore the scarf you see in the picture around my neck for most of the day.  To the common observer, this is an ordinary scarf, wonderfully knitted, ice-blue in color.  What makes this scarf special, however, is that it belonged to my grandmother.  It was given to her by another fallen soldier, who lost the battle with cancer.

As the girls quietly colored in the backseat on the way home from gymnastics, I drew up my shoulders, bringing the scarf as close to me as humanly possible, soaking in my grandmother's presence, and feeling grateful that I possess tangible items that she once donned herself. I have also, this hat, that she wore during some of her last days when her head was completely bald, and she wanted to forgo her wig for something easier.  On chilly evenings, I slip on her house shoes, comfortable blue and khaki slippers that she only was able to wear once or twice before she was bedridden.  As I pad around the house, I think about the walk of her life and how I aspire to take some of the same paths that she traveled as well.

While I love having these things of hers to snuggle with, to keep me warm, and while it truly is a simple pleasure to remember her and all she was, it is still bittersweet.  For as much as I love her hat, her scarf, the rings that she passed down to me, I love her more.  I yearn for her presence, for her sweet breath upon my neck, for her tender hands to caress my back and ease my burdens.  I long for the smell of her house, the sound of her voice, her arms, which no matter how frail they became physically, always had the strength to empower me, to uphold me, to support me.  In essence, I simply want her, but must make do with her earthly things until the glorious day when we are reunited again.

I'm linking up with Dayle at Simple Pleasures.
Project Simple Pleasures2

23 comments :

  1. Beautiful Jen. Sending love your way.

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  2. I have things of my mother's that I love to wear too. I understand. Praying God's comfort for you.

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  3. Jen, nothing like a scarf & hat. I usually don't wear the hat, but love my scarves. Joining you at Simple Pleasures.

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  4. Wonderful to have had such a wonderful relationship with your Grandmother!
    Elizabeth
    http://www.justfollowingjesus.com

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  5. Lovely memories to have of your grandmother and to have something tangible to hold or wear.

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  6. I so loved my grandma . I think about her everyday.
    Dottie

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  7. I inherited my father's chiweenie dog. I love to snuggle her warm little body and know she comforted him.

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  8. Dear Jen, your tender words made me cry. What a gracious granddaughter you are, to remember your grandmother in this way. One can only hope, that after having lived, to be remembered by such a loving granddaughter or grandson. As you say, this is a bittersweet, simple pleasure. Thank you for your honest words and for sharing your grandmother with us today.

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  9. Thanks for sharing sweet thoughts of your grandmother. Keeping her close and loving her things touches my heart.

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  10. Oh My! Such beautiful heart-words! You are special and blessed..Trish

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  11. What special gifts you have been given...not only the lovely scarf and hat, and beautiful memories of your Grandma, but also your words...I always come away from your posts blessed and encouraged! Thank you, my friend!

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  12. this is a beautiful tribute to a grandparent who has made a real difference.

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  13. A very beautiful post. My Mammaw has been one since 1988 and I still think of her to this day and still count how old she would be and would is still be possible for her be alive at such an age. She was 84 when she died. Today I found out that my uncle died in a car wreck. Life is so fragile! Wishing you a beautiful day. Tammy

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  14. Hi Jen, thank you for a beautiful post! I love using things that belonged to earlier generations.
    I'll have to send you a photo sometime... I took one of my dad's sport coats and some of his neckties to a designer friend of mine. She made me a handbag out of the coat fabric, using one of the ties to make the small inside pockets. It's sooo cute -- the lining is a pretty embroidered linen that gives the bag a feminine pizazz.
    Love you! --Jan

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  15. love your post I love holding things near that were my families and how warm it does make you feel

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  16. How comforting and wonderful that you have items belonging to your grandmother to cherish. My grandmother is one of my heroes; thankfully, she's still with us. From time to time, she passes down dishes, linens, etc., to me, and I always accept. It's wonderful to know I have some of the things she has loved in her life.

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  17. Oh, friend, I can relate! I lost my own grandmother to cancer more than 25 years ago. I still have the apron that she used to wear. It's a cherished possession.

    How I miss the smell of her house.

    Wonderful simple pleasure. It tendered my heart.

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  18. It's so hard to want someone who is no longer here. I know how that feels. Heartwarming sentiments. Beautifully written.

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  19. Oh, I can only hope and pray that my "grans" will have such love and devotion for me when I am gone from this earthly life. And, I hope that I will leave them rich with Godly values. What a heritage you have and what a sweet, sweet tribute to your Grandmother.

    Hugs to you!

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  20. A token to cherish forever. You are blessed!

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  21. Such a beautiful post and beautiful testimony to your love and her life. I am touched...

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  22. I'm going to tuck my comment here under the 22 above me. I just wanted to say thank you for these post.. I came back to your page to explore blogs on the link party, but grieving grabbed my attention. My mom, dies a little over 2 months ago. Unexpected and far to soon, she never met my youngest only 2 months old at the time. I being her oldest.. feel like i failed her. So.. I stay up way too late and explore blogs to keep me from weeping and waking my kids as they sleep. But this post makes me smile, I have the scarf my mom wore to my wedding.. and her perfume. Her perfume I thought I would contain in bottles for years, I spray so I can smell her through out the day. I started my blog, for her. To reach her. To speak to her about faith, it was easier. Now.. I continue because somehow it makes me feel safe.

    Thank you for these post. Your heart. Your willingness to share.

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