Sunday, January 3, 2010

On becoming a family of Druids

When my grandmother passed away we planted a tree in her honor. It was a weeping willow. It died. I don't think Grandma Dorothy wanted to be a sad tree. When my grandfather passed away we planted a tree in his honor and another one just like it to replace the Grandma Dorothy tree that died. Sweet gum trees picked out with loving care by my son, Anders. They grow side by side in front of our house next to the driveway.

After we planted these rather expensive memorial trees, my father announced that when he died we were not to buy a X*&^%$ expensive tree to remember him by. He said he had already planted a perfectly good tulip poplar tree next to the driveway and that would be his tree. That was in June. He passed away unexpectedly in November.

After much contemplation, planning and hard work my youngest brother and his wife built a memorial bench with the bronze plaque the military sent mounted under the seat. We put it under Dad's tulip poplar tree.

We've planted rose bushes to each side of the tree. Dad loved roses. Mom and I often rest there when we are out gardening or going out for the mail. It's shady with a nice breeze.

One day  Mom and I had stopped to rest on the bench. I got to thinking about the memorial trees and started to smile.

"Mom, I think we're becoming a family of Druids"
"What?" she asked looking puzzled.
"Look down this drive. When our family members die we 'become' trees!" I replied. "So what sort of tree do you want to be? A river birch, a fir, maybe a Linden tree..."

Mom thought for a moment then answered seriously,"I think I'll join your dad and be a tulip poplar."

I wiped a little tear from my eye.

I won't forget.

Meeting Grandma Mildred

When my husband,Brian,and I had just started seeing each other, he picked me up one afternoon for a date.

"My grandma's in the hospital," he said as he drove. "I'd like to stop by and see her.I'm her favorite."

"Ok." I had no idea what to expect.

At the hospital we took th elevator up to the ward, asked the first nurse we saw where to find Brian's Grandma. The nurse pointed out the room and told us she was asleep. We promised to be quiet and just peak in on her.

"Dumb ASS!" suddenly rang out from her room. I looked at Brian in shock and he laughed. He headed right in and gave Grandma Mildred a hug.

Then he introduced me. I will never forget the first thing Grandma Mildred ever said to me.
Don't you cry over him. He's not worth cryin' over.

We visited for a little bit. When Grandma Mildred's dinner came up we said our goodbyes.

I'll never forget the last thing she said to me.
Don't you cry over him. He's not worth cryin' over.

Brian explained later that "Dumb Ass" was Grandma Mildred's affectionate name for him. He's told me stories about Grandma Mildred ever since. Stories about when she was young and vital and alive. I never new her like that, I wish I had.

With the passing of the old year, Grandma Mildred passed on too.

She will be missed.