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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1181410-Simple-Treasurers-Simple-Pleasures
by Kenzie
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Family · #1181410
What fun we always had being together, even at our gathering for the funeral.
Simple Treasures, Simple Pleasures
by Marilyn Mackenzie

When Grandma died, most of her grandchildren attended the funeral. We gathered in Pittsburgh, PA, and the only grandchildren missing were two who lived in California and one who was being treated at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic, in Houston, Texas.

Sadly, like most families, we had not been together for years. We used to have yearly family reunions, but the last one had been about fifteen years before. What fun we always had being together, at those reunions and even at our gathering for the funeral.

Grandma’s funeral was not a solemn occasion. We had too many fond memories of her! When we were young, she visited with all of her kids and grandkids quite often, but never overstayed her welcome. We never tired of having her around. We loved helping her make sweet rolls. She never cared that our hands were dirty, even after washing them. She still let us help.

Grandma entered a nursing home, and her last trip out into the world had been to my wedding shower. Before the wedding, Grandma had a stroke and fell and broke her hip. Or maybe she fell and broke her hip, which caused the stroke. Either way, she was never the same. My mom became "the lady who read her mail." How that must have hurt.

After Grandma died, the nursing home gave my mom some money that had belonged to Grandma. From the time she entered the home, she was given a portion of her Social Security check as her spending money. When she became bedridden, they continued setting aside that small sum. After six years, there was a small amount accumulated. The nursing home personnel also gave Mom a trunk containing all of Grandma’s earthly treasures.

After the funeral, we all sat around that trunk and passed things around. We each selected things we wanted to keep to help us remember her. The musicians in the family got hymnals. Someone got her Bibles. I got a few of the elephants from her collection, which actually was the beginning of my own decision to collect elephants.

As we “ooohed and awwwed” over Grandma’s valuables, someone said, "Oh, Marilyn, this one’s for you." My eyes misted up as a purple afghan was lifted from the chest. Six years before, my wedding colors had been shades of purple. Grandma must have finished that afghan just before she had her stroke, and we never knew. Just underneath the purple afghan was another unfinished afghan in earth tones. That one would have been for my cousin and his wife who married about two weeks after I did.

Twenty-six years later, that purple afghan is one of my most prized possessions. It’s quite a treasure, and one I’ll pass on to my son. Even though he never got to meet my grandmother, I have tried to pass on some of her wisdom to him. That afghan is a reminder that simple, homemade gifts, wrapped in love, can be appreciated for generations.
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