Thursday, September 4, 2008

Feeling a Little Sappy

One of my most prized possessions is my seashell collection that was my grandmothers. As a little girl I spent countless hours sitting on the floor in front of her vanity where the shells were displayed. I would carefully remove the shells from their perch and hold them up to my ear. Sometimes my grandma would help me. Other times I would sneak into her room, paying close attention so I could put them back exactly as I had found them. I had never seen the ocean or set foot on a beach, but all the ocean must be came alive when I would hear the echo from the shells.

Today Evan and I were downstairs and he was looking at the shells in the hutch I keep them in. I took one and held it up to his ear. He listened quietly, as though the shell was telling him a secret. He looked at the shells with such wonder that it made me fall in love with them all over again.

I wish my grandma were here to hold the shells up to his ear like she did to mine. I wish she could tell me the story of how she got them. I have no idea where they came from, but she had them for as long as I can remember. She could have picked the up at a seaside shop or, more likely, someone brought them back to her as a souvenir. Maybe one of her brothers brought them back when they came home from the war. I don't know if my grandma ever visited the ocean or dipped her toes in its salty froth. I do know that she loved those shells, just like I love them now. I still hold them up to my ear and listen for the secrets of the universe.

I can't wait until I can tell Evan about the shells and especially about my grandma. About how she lived with us and that she used to let me sleep in her bed with her whenever I was scared. I'll tell him how she read to me every day and I think of her each time I read him "Hand Hand Finger Thumb." That she made the world's best chicken and dumplings, but she never used a recipe. I'll tell him that we were convinced we'd win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and she'd send in her entry form each time it came in the mail. He may not care that I watched the Miss America pageant with her every year or that her hair was red just like his is now, but I hope he does.

There are things about her I might not tell him, like how she was too proud to admit she snored, so one time my brother recorded it just to prove it to her. I probably won't tell him that I still kick myself for not getting to see her one last time right before she died or how often I wish I could have just one more hour with her, or even just one minute to show her my beautiful baby and thank her for being exactly who she was.

Even though she isn't here with us now, I still like to think she is looking down and knows exactly who I've become, who I married and how sweet my baby is. I also hope she knows how much I miss her.

1 comment:

Becca said...

Oh that makes me sad. I miss her too. Every Christmas I think about her boxes of stuff she would give us that always included pj's, a toy and something else special like the glass ballet slippers that I still have or the one year she gave us all the jewelry boxes with our initials on them. Thank for the memories of the shells I also loved those.