Thursday, February 11, 2010

One picture

Today I hold a picture. And some memories. And that is all I have left of her.
I don't talk about it often. Partially because time has helped ease some of the pain. And because I know where she is. But as we closely approach her birthday in this wintery month, with everything laid bare, I sometimes open up the box that holds her picture there and I take time to let my heart miss her.
I think back to memories of "equal time", biscuits, hamburgers made in the skillet that truthfully, I did not love, but because of who she was, I wanted to love them, chocolate milkshakes that defined the epitome of awesomeness, hugs that were warm and a heart that was ready to serve.
And sometimes, my heart aches over the memories that are not there. She never knew Ted. She was not there when I walked across the stage at Louisville Gardens to be handed my high school diploma. She was not there to bake and craft and dream and watch as Ted and I started our life as one. And she does not know two of my favorite little people in the entire world, one of them bearing her beautiful name.
And on a day like today, I miss her. I wish I had her here. And yet, my heart is happy for all the times I had. For all the moments she graciously watch me clumsily, not really pull off a backward somersault and yet acted as if it was the greatest things she'd ever seen...for the 22nd time, for the times where she let my delicate little fingers join hers in making something that would have been far easier to bake on her own.
Oh that my kids would have known the joy that was my Grandma... But I will tell them stories. And I will hug them tightly and I will joyously recount a life that was beautiful, a life that mattered and a life that inspired many. I will tell them of a beautiful lady who convinced her husband to by a large van at the ripe old age of 60-something simply so she could take shut-ins out to church who would otherwise have felt abandoned. I will tell them of a lady who took people into her home and made them family, when because of the color of their skin at that time, she was doing what was socially unacceptable.
And I will hold them tightly and breathe in the fact that I have this moment with them. I have no guarantees of how long these moments will last, but I will drink them in, no matter how tiring, difficult or beautiful they may be, because I have this moment.
And today my heart grieves that I hold one picture. I wish there were more. I wish there were pictures of her that could capture the perfectly imperfect wonderful-ness that was her. But I hold one. And I hold it tightly. And I vow to take more of my family. And others' families. And special days. And details so that we can hold them tightly and breathe in the beauty, celebrate and sometimes even mourn if necessary. And we can go back out into the world and see more vividly, live more largely and embrace this life to the full as much as we possibly can.
Today I bear the tear-stained eyes of one who does not forget and yet puts one foot in front of the other and soaks up today.

So today, here is a picture of one who bears her memory and one who bears her name (Alyce...and oh how I love that she spelled it with a "y")

1 comment:

  1. Amy, this story really moved me. I'm not sure who she is/was but I can see how much she means to you. What a beautiful sentiment.