Monday, November 1, 2010


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)


CaraBee said...

One of the reasons we won't move from this area is that it is so very important to me that my daughter grow up close to her grandparents. The special relationship your children have with your parents is something that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Amanda said...

Kirsten, that was lovely. Way to make me cry at work! You know I'm a big fan of your mom. I wish she were MY grandma!

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