I am blessed. I do not take this for granted. I’ve been taught to count my blessings…but what do you do when you lose count? Each and every day I am aware of the many ways in which my life is vivid with colour and noisy with laughter.
I am blessed. Foremost of those blessings is that my Grandparents have lived long enough to know my children well. My Gram is among the best of my friends. My Grampa is the bench mark all other men are measured against. Their love is the romantic ideal I hoped for but never dared to dream I would find myself. I did. You see? I am blessed.
As a child I always found ways to be with my Grandparents. I would listen to my Gram play the piano, and help my Grampa in the garden. I loved to pick berries with him and then run inside to make jam out of those berries with her. I enjoyed watching my Grampa tinker for hours with things in his shed, the smell of it like bottled up work ethic and masculinity. I lived for the days that my Gram had her friends over for coffee, she always let me sit with them like I was all grown up and when I spoke they listened – teaching me that what I had to say was important. On stormy days I would curl up in their livingroom with a book , comforted by the sound of the rain and the thunder and of my Grandparents quietly laughing or praying together in the kitchen. In that house was joy, faith, and kindness.
When I was ten years old my baby sister died. It was like all the light went out of everything. Neither my Mom or I could stand to be in our house. My Grandparents took over and did everything from holding us while we cried, to cooking the food we never ate. They sat with me in the night when nightmare after nightmare stole my sleep. Their house, always a haven, became our refuge. When I think now how they must have been hurting. Their daughters pain tearing them to ribbons, my pain so demanding and childlike, and their own pain overwhelming and terrible. But still they provided the sanctuary in which we would heal. To us this was home, and home is where you want to be when life is suddenly fragile.
I have my own home now. My haven. I hope it’s the house that builds my children and my grandchildren. This house has sheltered us through the storms that life has blown our way. It’s the love inside a house that makes it a home. It’s the strength of the people holding up the walls and the laughter that decorates it. The love between my Grandparents was the foundation of their house, and it’s their house that built me.
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me