Friday, April 17, 2009

Story Behind the Picture - "Memories of Spring"



Spring is such a glorious time of year, yet this is a particularly difficult week for me to write. For once, I am at a near loss for words. My grandmother did not recognize me this week when I sat at her bedside and held her weathered, weakened hands in my own. I have spent my birthday with her each year for the past thirty-three Aprils. She has helped me blow out my candles, sung to me, kissed me, and wished me her traditional "lots of luck and happiness." Each year, no matter where I lived, I spent my spring birthday with her. This week was no different, despite the fact I had brought her in to the emergency room a few days before, despite the fact that she now lay in the ICU, her piercing blue eyes unable to recognize my face.

When I think of spring, I remember running thought her vibrant green lawn in my new party dress, being scolded for climbing the rock wall that ran along side her house, swinging on the front gate when I thought she wasn't looking. When I think of my grandmother, I think of spring: the sky the color of her eyes, magnolia blossoms the color of the dress she made for my eighth-grade graduation, white clouds the color of her soft hair.

I noticed one of her nurses had written "Tuesday, April 14th" on the message board at the foot of her bed. Before I left, I pointed to the date. "Grandmom, do you know what today is?" I asked. The pain and exhaustion that clouded her eyes floated away long enough for her to turn and whisper, "it's your birthday."

6 comments:

A Painting a Day by Kristen Stein said...

Not the happiest of ways to celebrate your birthday. But hopefully the many years of fun-filled ones will make up for this April's more melancholy. Wishing the best to your Grandmother. Hoping to hear that she's improving. -kristen

Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

Oh, I hope your grandma feels better soon. Your memories with her will last forever ...deep inside her heart, I'm sure she knows her loving grandaughter.

Take care,
Jenjen
PS - I love the photo

Jean Levert Hood said...

May your wonderful memories carry you through. How precious to have over 3 decades of birthdays spent with her.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Every cloud has a silver lining as they say, at least you were with her and she could gather herself enough to know what day it was.
{{Big hugs}} to you and thoughts of good health for your grandmother.
Peace, Judi

Allie said...

Oh, Michelle - I am sorry that this has happened to your grandmother. I do hope that she is feeling better soon. What a wonderful gift that she was able to remember that it was your birthday, and what incredible loving memories you have together. Hugs, allie

Natasha said...

I love this...it made me cry. This photo is so soft...that's one of the things I like about it...it invites you to reach out and touch it, to share a piece of yourself with it..that's the way your grandma sounds as well...I love that for that moment she knew it was your birthday and it would be my guess that right then and in the time after she dreamed of some of the same memories you shared here...although it's belated Happy Birthday sweet friend ...she will always, always be with you on every birthday and that warms my heart and brings a smile to my face

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