Maybe I have missed more Sunday services than I realized.
I went to church this morning to make sure they didn’t need me in the nursery. It was my originally scheduled day but I had swapped out for someone earlier in the month. I trusted them, but I needed to make sure…just in case. When I wasn’t needed I headed for the sanctuary. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to sit where I always have in the past but I’d find out when I got there. What I wasn’t expecting, was how many people stopped me to tell me they had missed me, ask how I was, and that they were happy to see me. I also was able to sit where I have sat for the last twenty (maybe) years.
The service today was very nice. We observed the Lord’s Supper- This do in remembrance- and the pastor shared an important message. I was very glad that I had gone rather than watch the service online. I was also very glad to get home as my contacts felt as if I had serrated steak knives in my eyes.
Sitting here at home, I heard my dogs which were outside begin to bark. Glancing out I saw my mother approaching. I knew Bella didn’t have her collar on so I grabbed it, went outside and got it on. I then got the remotes for both collars. The resulting obedience was near immediate. Both stopped barking, Bella sat near the gate and Molly lay with her back to the gate. She looked for all the world as if she were thinking, ‘if I don’t look, I won’t bark.’
Mom walked up and held out what appeared to be paper but was in fact several old photos. Two were of me before I was a year old stretched out on a quilt. The other was a photo of when I was nine, with my maternal grandmother. You can see the shadows of my brother and grandfather. Mom and I talked for a while, but the wind was blowing fairly hard and it always causes her to lose her voice if she’s outside too long. I watched until she was almost home before I came back inside.
As I sat down and glanced at the photo of me and my grandmother, the floodgates of memories opened. How I miss her.
Growing up, we lived in this house, while my mother’s parent’s lived next door. We were there as often as we were here. Mom and dad both worked, Grandma would walk up here and make sure we caught the bus, and would welcome us home. Summer days were spent with them. There was always something to keep us busy outside. We spent very little time inside. I only recall her striking me once, and that was when I refused to learn the assigned spelling words. I never refused any work after that. We also knew to never tell them we were bored, as she would find something for us to do if it was something she made up.
She was fun. She was gentile. She could cook. She had a wisdom that many can only dream of now. Between her and grandpa, they had amazing gardens that provided amazing vegetables.
Mom and her would go to town every Saturday. They would only be gone a couple of hours but it was their time. I loved the times when I was allowed to go along.
Then, she got sick. Then, she was called to her heavenly home and nothing has ever been the same. But then, when one leaves, everything does change. There is an emptiness they once filled. A place that no one else can hold. A place once real but now a very special, very treasured memory.