Lately, I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic. Maybe it’s because much of my current life is so unsettled at the moment (unemployed/living with my in-laws) and my heart and mind remember back to a time of stability and comfort as a way of coping through.
I often relate this feeling of nostalgia to walking around an old antique shop filled with treasures from days long ago. There’s a sense of history all around you, stories associated with each and every item. Our memories are just like that – a place we can “walk around” to remember – a place of constant inspiration through all the challenges and discoveries we face in life.
But over the last few weeks, one person has been continually on my mind – my grandmother – who passed away over a year ago at the age of 92.
I know it sounds strange, but there are times I truly feel her presence with me – hear her laughter and sometimes even smell her perfume. Maybe it’s my subconscious mind just playing tricks on me as it looks for something that feels safe and secure. Or maybe there really are angels above us – fluttering around our lives, doing their best to guide and support us in any way they can.
Rudy Giuliani once wrote, “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.”
I consider myself truly blessed that my grandmother gave me all of those things and more – as a little boy who loved to spend time at grandma’s house, to a sometimes lonely teenager who spent many Friday nights at her kitchen table laughing and playing games, drinking hot tea and yes, eating cookies.
Popular songwriter (and one of my personal favorites) Diane Warren penned a tune several years back entitled Ordinary Day. Here’s the refrain:
I wouldn’t ask for money, I wouldn’t ask for fame
I wouldn’t ask for the power to make this world change
If I could have one thing that one thing that I would choose
Is one more ordinary day with you
I had many cherished “ordinary days” with my grandmother. But truth be told, even though I’m almost 40 years old, I’d love even just one more sitting around her kitchen table. A place I could always turn to when I needed comfort and support, mixed with a lot of laughter. A place I could always be myself and never be judged or looked down upon. A place you could never say the wrong thing because her love was truly without conditions or pretense. A place where we both knew that the gift of someone’s time is the greatest gift you can give in this life.
Alex Haley once said, “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”
Maybe my grandmother still is.