My kitchen counters are a mess. Old poppyseed muffins are still in the tin on the stove. An empty sandwich bag container needs a receptacle. My comforting Cheerios box stands stalwartly next to the sink. Mail, matches, a candle's lid (why do candle containers have those irritating useless lids, driving up the price everywhere?), a half-used Hi-C drink box, a top of a pixy stix, a black rubberband.
Yet, between pages of my most recent book "Operating Instructions:A Journal of My Son's First Year" by Anne Lamott, I find myself staring and thinking the same thought that I did while tossing and turning in bed last night: I don't have my Grandma Cora any more.
I try to imagine her in heaven with Grandpa Harold, looking like they did -- two young in love people holding hands -- under the black and white tree in an old photo. And, I can hear her laugh with him. Yet she's not in Mountain Grove to visit, and life is not fair to those who loved her here because we're left behind with lesser people who don't know how to love as well as she did. Nor can they quilt or grow African violets or bake a killer Angel food cake like her. So, I'm sad for us on this biggest shopping day of the year, as if we can find in stores what my grandmother possessed.
My husband was so sweet last night, hugging me each time he found me staring off, saying that he was glad that he married me, a good person. I think he's better by far, but that's an old argument.
Well, I'm going to the church in a little while to decorate for Christmas. Grandma loved Christmas so much and eyed her quilts merrily as she chose a fortunate recipient. Last year, we were all together (her clan of Cobles), and I have a sweet picture of her with her great grandchildren. Her face looked as sweet and fresh as theirs; she was smiling with a glee and enthusiasm that transcended her 88 years of tired old life. She had a package bow stuck on her head and a present on her lap. We would all only bring her presents and would gather around and watch her wondrous reactions to each gift. "Ohhhhhhhhh my! Ohhhhhhh. I like it! I like it!"
There are lots of things to remember this season.