My grandmother missed her 88th birthday by two days. Saying goodbye to her has brought up a plethora of childhood memories. Her orange juice was always the best I had ever tasted. She made it in the blender and it came out cold, frothy, and with the perfect amount of pulp. She shared many culinary delights with me, and her pie crust is the only pie crust I have ever bothered to make from scratch. In fact, despite the effects of divorce and time, my mother still makes her former mother-in-law’s lemon meringue pie—to rave reviews.
Out of the kitchen, my grandmother was a seamstress extraordinaire. She made me beautiful clothes—from twirly dresses (the twirlier the better!) to Gunny Sax outfits to prom dresses. Whatever I had in mind, she could bring to life; and I was always so proud to wear something she had created. If I needed to feel pretty, putting on one of my twirly dresses always did the trick.
The yard at my grandparents’ house was gorgeous. The gardening prowess of both my grandfather AND grandmother was considerable. There were huge roses, bleeding hearts, and—my favorite—sweet peas along the fence. I planted both bleeding hearts and sweet peas in the yard of my first home. I thought of my grandparents as I dug in the dirt and later as I enjoyed the results of my labors. My grandmother shared with me the magical, fairy secrets of the bleeding heart plant. Next time you see one, pluck one of the pink hearts and see if you can find the tiny slippers and fairy jewelry hidden inside.
My grandmother had three sons, so she reveled in her granddaughters. She loved to fix our hair, make us matching outfits, and let us rifle through her treasure of costume jewelry and fancy hats made with velvet and veils.
As women, we can easily move away from the things that were so precious in our little-girl worlds: twirly dresses, garden adventures, and playing dress up. What a powerful gift my grandmother has given me through these memories, and I cherish this chance to revive the little-girl-spirit within. I am grateful to be able to celebrate Marjorie Pearl—my grandmother. Grandma, you are remembered in love, gratitude, and with a warm heart.