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Jack’s Mid-Missouri Memories: Little Things Grandmas Do

Grandma Cooking
spader/Flickr

As we approach another holiday season, I can’t help but think of my late grandmother Wickliffe. I think that’s because like grandma, my wife Marlene is busy this time of the year making memories with our grandchildren in her kitchen the way my grandma did, especially during the Holidays. Like my grandma, Marlene does all the little things with our grandchildren that will make them remember her as long as they live. I wrote this memory not only for my grandmother and Marlene, but for every grandmother out there who takes the time to build those warm loving memory no one could possibly forget.

Little Things Grandmas Do

I love to watch my wife as she makes memories for our grandchildren, and I think how lucky they are to have a grandmother like her. I know my grandchildren will never forget their grandmother because of the little things she does with them, just as I could never forget mine.

It isn’t the big things that I remember about my grandmother in those quiet thoughtful times when she comes into my mind. It is the simple little things she did that I can never forget, the kind of things my wife does now with our grandchildren.

It was the extra little squeeze my grandma always gave me before she released a hug, to let me know how much she hated to let me go. It was the hurt look in her eyes that made me know she suffered too whenever one of her grandchildren were punished for something, even when it was well deserved.

I can never eat an apple without seeing my grandmother sitting with a grandchild on her lap, scraping a peeled apple with a paring knife and feeding it to them. It was one of those little things she did with me and her other grandchildren when we were little, and she was still making that special applesauce with her paring knife for my daughter before she died. Something I hope she remembers too.

My wife doesn’t scrape apples for our grandchildren, but many other things she does with them reminds me of my grandmother. For instance she loves baking cookies, and cupcakes with them, just like my grandma used to do with her grandchildren. It’s a simple thing I know, but I am sure my wife’s kitchen will be a lasting memory for her grandchildren.

When I think back to my days as a child, I can still feel the warmth of the old wood burning stove in my grandma’s kitchen and I can see me perched on a the edge of a high stool beside her, waiting for something wonderful to finish baking in its oven. I have always said the memories of my grandma that comes to mind the easiest are the ones of her with flour on her face, standing in her kitchen. I guess that’s because there were so many of them.

I often wonder what it is our grandchildren will remember about Marlene and me when they are all grown up. For my part they will hopefully remember I bounced them on my knee and played catch with them now and then, and just maybe they’ll remember a few things Grandpa said and did that made them laugh. I would, however, be fooling myself to think they would remember more about me than they would their grandmother, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, it was her they could run to when a boo-boo needed a band-aid and kissing. It was her they could always count on to be there at tea time, and it was her warm lap and soft hands that felt just right when it was time for a nap, or to be comforted when they scraped a knee or some other part of their little bodies.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that grandpas are nice to have around, but grandmas are indispensable.

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