This is the view out the backdoor of my grandparents' house, toward the west, with the many memories that come along with it.
Today is the day our beloved Grandmother was born. It's strange to think she has been gone more than fourteen years, closer to fifteen. Not that I don't miss her. It isn't hard to believe that many years have passed, because she has been missed for all of them.
It's more because she is so much a part of my life, because she is part of me, part of how I see things, how I hear things, how I think about things.
I use her pots and pans. I pray at the little desk she gave me while she was living, and I write notes and letters at the desk that became mine after her death. We still use towels that were hers. I see her little milk pitcher every time I walk through our dining room.
The intangibles are just as real. Her expressions come to my mind in various situations. (Who else says, "bless Pat"?) Her advice, whether about the kitchen or the bigger things in life, still gives me guidance. When I play piano, I remember that she always encouraged my playing and helped pay for lessons at some points. I can still hear her voice asking, "Where are your manners?" when we were little children and forgot to say "please" or "ma'am" or "sir," and it makes me want to continue the kindness and respect of simply manners, even when some are falling out of use.
When I wake earlier than I would like, I remember her talking about how she slept less and would get up and read in the early hours.
I remember her strength, her kindness, her beauty, her laughter, her love.
I pray to be like her in all the ways I ought to be.
It is her birthday, and for all who knew her, she is the gift.