My grandmother was a sweet, loving, giving kind of woman. She loved her family and her family adored her. My mother was the 6th of 7 children, and the only one to move several states away. I grew up visiting my grandmother every summer, certainly my happiest times of family, laughter, and seaside memories. Her house stayed the same every passing year, although the people passing through aged, married, and had children.
When my grandmother passed away in October 2008, the children (5 remaining), grandchildren (10), and great-grandchildren (19 at the time) were asked if there was something of sentimental value they would like to keep.
The one thing I cherished was a cross-stitch of a cheery old-fashioned home that hung in the living room ever since I could remember. Family lore had it that it was the only thing Grandmom had ever won, for once holding the lucky raffle ticket from a fundraising event. It was not too surprising that the cross-stitch had already been claimed, but I didn’t mind because I knew that everything had been valued by such a big and loving family. I would never forget the living room anyway, the scene of so many afternoons and nights filled with a family’s catching up and new babies and children growing up.
The next spring, in April of 2009, my mother’s friends threw a bridal shower for my upcoming wedding in June. The food was delicious, the company was comforting, and the gifts were overwhelming. My mother asked me to save a large gift for last, sent from my aunt through the mail. As the mountain of gifts diminished, I finally unwrapped my aunt’s gift to find that it was the cross-stitch from my grandmother’s living room wall.
Although I am certainly emotional privately, it is never easy for me to cry in front of others. I could not hold back the tears in that moment, remembering my sweet Grandmom and all the memories I had of my summer visits.
Now, that cross-stitch is hanging in my first married home, and will continue to travel with us wherever life may take us.
It fits perfectly.