My mind wanders back to my childhood days where I would run wild and carefree just as barefooted as you please with the hot summer sun beaming down on me. I would chase my dad’s chickens all through the “chicken yard” as they scrambled and extended their wings at times to escape my tomboy ways. I smile at the thought of those days that are long gone now.
There are so many things I can recall from my childhood. Another favorite is playing in the forbidden hog pin. My dad warned us about not getting close to the hogs, but did I listen? Not as good as I should have, but that, too, brings a smile to my face and causes me to pause for a good long chuckle. I fondly remember trying to be Wonder Woman as I jumped off the ramp at the entrance of the hog pin. I would also climb the highest mountain (okay, it was a pile of wood), adjust my silver wrist bands, and position myself in that super hero pose as I jumped. One time the landing didn’t go so well, and I found myself laying on the ground trying to recover as I knocked the breath completely out of my body when my knees hit my chest on impact. Thankfully, I did not break anything. There were no injuries, except to that of my pride.
I love taking a stroll down memory lane. Those childhood days seem so very far away now as the years have flown by. It’s times like these that I thank God for the vivid memories I do have of those precious years.
Another fond memory of my childhood is visiting my great grandmother in the nursing home. While walking down the halls of that old nursing home, I found myself so incredibly sad for the ones that were in worse shape than my precious great grandmother. She had broken her hip and was bed ridden. She was hard of hearing at that point, even with her hearing aids in. She had bifocal glasses, yet it was still hard for her to see. Even still, the minute we walked in her room and she realized we were there, her little face lit right up as she smiled from ear to ear and welcomed us to sit with her for a little while. Oh tears sting my eyes as I remember this beautiful woman laying there in that bed. She would talk to us, but we could hardly understand what she was saying. This woman was once so strong, so independent, and it was heartbreaking seeing her laying there like that.
My grandmother would take us to visit my great grandmother. She wanted us to know her, truly know who she was. I am thankful for that precious gift. I treasure those times at the nursing home getting to know my great grandmother.
In the years since our visits to that old nursing home, my great grandmother has passed away. She lived a long life. She was a kind hearted woman, and I remember nothing but love coming from one that possessed a true heart of gold.
My grandmother passed down a bracelet that used to belong to my great grandmother. This isn’t some extravagant or expensive piece of jewelry, but it is priceless to me. It is one of my greatest treasures, and I hold it very near and dear to my heart. My great grandmother’s bracelet is made out of shells. It is linked together with silver hooks. I wore it ever so proudly on my wrist as a teenager when my grandmother first gave it to me. I retired the bracelet as my fear of losing my treasure of a lifetime almost became a reality as it slipped off of my little arm. I remember tucking that bracelet away in a safe place after that. I would go back into my jewelry box and gaze at it ever so often. Yet, I would not wear it for fear of losing it.
Many years later, both of my daughters have gazed in at this treasure. They have touched it with their tiny little fingers, stroking it, holding it up to the light, and draping it across their little wrists wanting so badly to wear it. I allowed them the play around with it for a brief moment as I explained to them exactly what this treasure of a lifetime meant to me. They listened ever so attentively as I told the stories of visiting my great grandma. They never had the chance to meet her here on earth, but she lives on in their hearts and lives with the memories I’ve shared with them.
This little shell bracelet now resides on a shelf in my dining room. I have it proudly on display. I still walk by and touch this bracelet, straightening it from little hands that have stroked it as they’ve stood there looking at it. I’ve fixed it “just so” as I remember my great grandma. I love her and miss her to this very day, and once again, I’m so thankful to my grandma for the visits and ensuring that I knew my great grandma. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my grandma gave me such an amazing gift with the memories I hold dear today … as well as my treasure of a lifetime.
I love you, Great Grandma Erin, and Grandma Elise.
Always & Forever!