Friday, November 2, 2007

Day Two

Tonight we head south to Connecticut for my maternal grandmother's memorial service. I said I'd talk at the service, but had no idea what I'd say until the day before yesterday (cutting it a little close) when I remembered a conversation she and I had had, several times, in the past couple of years. Suddenly it was obvious, and I had the unusual experience this morning of sitting down at the computer and writing, in one stroke (though, yes, I'll admit, later, after reading it to myself a few times, I had to make some changes) wrote the two paragraphs I'll read at the service tomorrow. Here they are, serving as today's post, followed by something to click on, as I don't have permission to include the second part:

A few years back, Gram and Grampa arrived for a visit with a small cooler in tow – to keep the snacks that sustained them through the long journey to Maine. As she unpacked, Gram asked me to fetch the cheese. “It’s over there in the, uh, blickie,” she said. I raised an eyebrow. “The what?” She laughed, and said, “I don’t know – something my brothers used to call that sort of thing - anything that carried anything, a bucket, usually. Just a silly old word.”

A silly old word, perhaps, but it was Gram’s words that made her who she was to us in myriad ways. There were the ones she used often, the ones she maybe didn’t use enough, the ones we didn’t recognize, the many she wrote in cards and letters, and then, too, the ones she made it her business to be sure we didn’t forget. The last few times I sat across the room from her at Evergreen Woods, on the firm corduroy-clad couch, she would at least once during my visit remind me that kids these days are missing out on all the good old books and stories and rhymes. “No one reads Pooh anymore,” she lamented. “His picture is all over everything but the kids don’t know the rhymes from the books.” I assured her each time that those of us who loved those rhymes as children would be sure to share them with younger folks – that we already had – with students, babysitting charges, our own children. She remained unconvinced, so I thought I’d give it one more try:

[Click here for the poem, from When We Were Very Young]


Martha said...

Milne is a good one - I memorized one of his poems for an assignment in Mrs. Biggs' 4th grade class. Matt Roach had to borrow the book from me only hours before the assignment was due to memorize something himself. It is a shame I can't remember either of them. And as far as I'm concerned, Matt still owes me. Your Gram sounds like a cool lady with some good advice.

megin said...

Love the words you wrote for her. And of course those of Milne. Hopefully she'll rest a bit easier knowing that Pooh, in the original version, not the disneyfied crap version, was Q's first chapter book. The good works make it to some of them. Promise.

And hey, TWO comments. You're a winnah!