My eldest got really sick this afternoon, really quickly. She arrived home saying she felt 'tired' and an hour later had spiked a fever of 102 and was shivering on the couch in pajamas. She didn't ask for ice pops, ginger ale, or even Barbie movies. She asked for Grandma.
As I drove home from driving her to my mother's, I tried hard not to feel insulted. I mean, aren't kids supposed to want their MOM when they're sick?
Then I thought about my husband, travelling to Norway this week for his grandmother's funeral. I thought about the stories he told us at the dinner table, the night we heard she'd died: stories of cousins, of chocolate cakes, of a laughing, loving woman.
I thought of my own grandmother, who died in November 2006. My own memories were visceral, tonight - of her kitchen table, of her beautiful white hair, of her long graceful fingers on piano keys. She is present in so many of my day-to-day choices.
Today is November 1: All Saints Day. A day to remember the "great cloud of witnesses." Today, I am grateful for grandparents - those magical people in our lives who have the extra time, the extra space in their evening for sick little girls or the surreptitious morsel of cake to share.
Today I focus my heart on the gifts and wisdom of those who have traveled the path ahead of me, and I'm not insulted. I - we, we who have had loving grandparents in our lives - we are given the most profound gift.
The Grandparents of NilsenLife on the beach in the Lofoten Islands (and lil ol' me)