Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For my Granny

There comes a time in your life when, if you are as lucky as I am to have three of my grandparents still alive as I turned 36, you must face the cruel realization that humans aren't immortal. 

People age - sometimes at a seemingly exponential rate compared to all but the very young.  Their bodies get creakier and move slower.  Ailments show up with greater frequency.  Surgeries, routine for someone half their age, come now with more complications. 

I remember my Granny as a spry woman.  When I was a kid, she and my Papa would host "the cousins" - all five of us - for a week at their house in the Berkshires every summer.  It was a magical hundred-plus-year house on beautiful grounds.  We'd swim.  And hike.  I knew Granny spent time playing tennis.  And golf, which she still occasionally plays all these years later.  My Granny was hardcore in ways that I didn't fully appreciate when I was a kid but that I do now.  She was fiery, with a head of bright red hair to match. 

Her opinions, her fire, is still as strong as ever.  But her body isn't.  I find myself once again being in the helpless position of wanting to horde as much time as I can with a grandparent but being 3,000 miles away from them. 

I loved that magical house that Granny lived in all those years ago.  It's been decades since I've been in it, but I feel like I can still trace every step of that house in my memory.  One of the most prominent memories I have of that house is the kitchen.  It was a huge room complete with a wood-burning fireplace and a wall filled with blue and white china.  It is the one thing that I associate with my Granny more than anything else - that china.  Those dishes, along with the house, have long-since been sold, but they are seared in my memory.

It's hard being so far away from the ones you love.  Distance stands in the way of the meals I'd like to make for her and the visits I'd like to have.  But the love in a quilt travels the miles easily.  So I created a quilt for her made with fabric that looks just like that china.  It's blue and white with patterns so swirly and varied that you get lost in them and can only focus on the colors.

It's only five weeks until my next visit with her, but until that time, and after I leave, I hope this quilt reminds her that she is always in my thoughts even if I can't always be in her presence.