Today was a cold and gray day and a good day for soup for lunch! So, I heated up some soup out of the can (yes, I do occassionally eat food from a can!) and was looking for a bowl to eat out of. This is what I reached for:
I've seen this cup before and have eaten out of many times, but today, for some reason, it really hit me. My grandma made this cup.
My grandma has been gone for 6 months now. Today, when I grabbed this bowl and looked inside...it all came rushing back to me. Here's what was inside:
Her name...Audree Tull. I was her only grandchild.
This cup was made when my grandma, my mother and I went on a women's retreat with their church. I don't even know how many years ago that was...maybe around 10. At the time, I wasn't overly excited to go, but now, I'm glad that I did. It was probably the last time that I really spent any time with my grandma. The three of us were the only 3-generation family there. That was neat.
As I put the soup and crackers in my bowl and started eating, it's like I was transformed into a little girl again, remembering how close we once were. I remembered going to stay over at her house every Friday night possible. I remembered her teaching me the capitals to all 50 states (and I still remember most of them!), I remembered going into her pantry and playing grocery store, I remembered her green rotary phone...she would tape down the hang up switch and give me a pad of paper and a pen, so that I could pretend that I was talking on the phone and taking notes. I remembered my favorite snack that she would make for me...a slice of bread with butter and sugar sprinkled on it. I remembered her scratching my back at night until she fell asleep. And doing flips over the ottoman in her living room ~ I thought I was such a gymnast! Going with her to deliver Meals on Wheels...So many memories came flooding back. That was my life as a young girl! I loved being with my Nana!
Once I became a teenager, I preferred hanging out with my friends, so I rarely stayed at her house anymore. I didn't think about it at the time, but I'm sure that was sad for her. When I was a senior in high school and my dad took a job in Seattle, I wanted to stay in Tulsa and graduate with my friends. My grandparents let my mom and me live with them for that year. At the time, I never even thought about how we probably disrupted their lives. Living with me during high school was not fun, I'm sure!
I think I took advantage of the fact that she was always there...I thought every body got to see their grandparents as much as I did...I didn't realize at the time how truly lucky I was.
My grandpa passed away in 1997. After that, my grandma really lost her zest for life. They were married over 49 years. I don't think she ever felt comfortable living life after he was gone and that made me sad. I wanted her to be grateful to be alive, instead, she prayed every night that she wouldn't wake up. Finally, last August, her prayer was answered. She was 97 and in really poor health and last time I saw her, I wasn't even sure if she knew that I was there. It was time...I knew it and I had accepted it and while it made me sad, it was comforting knowing that she was finally at peace again.
I miss her...not the grandma that I had for the last 12 years of her life, but the Nana that I grew up with. She loved life and her family and loved to the fullest extent...sometimes to my chagrin. Nearly every thing she did was in service to others. Now I realize what an HONOR it was to have her as my grandma. And I'm sad that Cameron never got to know her like I did. All he knew was that she was OLD!
As I was taking all this in, my eyes filled with tears. I'm not even really sure why. Maybe it's the first time that I realized that I won't ever see her again...at least until it's my turn to go. Maybe it's because I never told her how much I admired her or how grateful I was for all the things she did for me. I know I told her I loved her and I hope, at the end, she knew that I did. Or maybe it was because I was transformed into that little girl and wondered what my life would have been like if she hadn't have been there. As a child, she was a safe haven for me. My grandparents were my rock, at times, when the world around me was crumbling. She loved me with everything that she had and always wanted the best for me and did everything in her power to make my dreams come true.
I've thought about her all day. It was just a cup, but it held so many memories for me...and I won't ever look at it the same way again.
Here's a picture of me with my Nana and Papa. I'm going to guess it was taken in the early 80's.