Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gifts From Grandmother

Documenting our long runs until the Boston Marathon.  About nine weeks to go with this run.  During this run, school was cancelled due to a water main break.  Nicole had to figure out the location of all her kids while we were running.

My running partner/friend dangled this over my head.  She told me I just had to run 16 miles to "earn" this goodie. 

Eight weeks to go.  We ran at a different time and earlier in the week to beat the snow.  Good call on our parts.  We ran in 50s with sunshine; two days later the blowing snow and colder temperatures made an appearance.

We were near the end of our run and had to add on just about a mile.  We decided to enter this small neighborhood that ALWAYS has their gates open.  The gate was open when we ran into the neighborhood, but closed when we needed to exit.  So, we both had to jump the fence.

This happened 18 miles into the run, and our legs were shot and not interested in climbing.

My mom, sister, cousin, and I sorted through my Grandmother's belongings in order to sell her house.

I've mentioned before that my spry Grandmother suffered a stroke in October.  We thought her passing would be imminent, but she rebounded and kept a grip on this life.  Currently, she lives in a nursing home because the stroke whipped out many of her physical and mental capabilities.

Because of her condition, my mother decided to sell her house.  On Sunday, we weeded through her belongings.  Family grabbed sentimental keepsakes, special photos, and other items that could possibly find a new life in our homes.

The boys accompanied me for a bit.  To them, it was like walking into a free garage sale.  Every item seemed interesting.  They selected "favorites" and insisted those things were needed by our clan.  Cooper clung to a reading lamp that was the size of a small child and basically told me life would not be the same without it.  After some intense negotiations, he walked away with a device that spins (have no idea what it is) and a magnifying glass.  In his little world, it was like Christmas.

For me, the task of sifting through her belongings was both tender and sad.  I was sad that these were not her things anymore.  She was no longer in a state where she could use a mixture, cook something on the stove, or run a vacuum.

But, it was tender too. 

Grandmother's house and her belongings reflected so much of who she was to all those who loved her.  On her walls still hung chalk drawings I made for her as a child.  When I removed them from the wall, they practically fell apart in my fingers.  They weren't fine artistic masterpieces, but she was proud to display my drawings all the same.  On other walls and scattered on bookshelves and nightstands sat a collection of family photos.

But what really touched me was the amount of Bibles we found within her home.  Several of the Bibles were so worn that she used duct tape to hold the pages into the binding.  What she poured into her heart and mind flowed out in her speech and conduct.  She was planted in the Word and it was displayed in the beautiful fabric of her being.

My family received her piano.  We placed it in our living room, and several of the boys fingered the keys.  I played as a child, and I wondered if I would still recognize the keys and could belt out any notes.  A few songs came back to me.  I pounded out a few favorites.  And, then I sat back on the piano bench and thanked Grandmother for all the gifts she's still giving to us.

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