Happy (Belated) Birthday, Grandma

The Heavenly Council must have been in an especially good mood June 9, 1912 because they decreed the soul-release of Juanita Rose Harris.  My blessed, sweet-like-no-other, Grandmother.

I lost her, physically, in 2001… to the slow and merciless thief known as Alzheimer’s Disease.  It whittled away at her brain, her memories, her ability to be present with others in ways that we could understand.  It could not, however, degenerate her Sweetness.  No, her Sweetness was huge… and real… and legendary.  Her apron strings held more love than some people will ever know in an entire lifetime.

So many things remind me of her.  Some of them are:  A purse full of tissues and peppermints.  Charm.  Devotion.  Easy laughter.  Faith.  Femininity.  Fresh corn… shucked and creamed.  Full-slips.  Gingerbread.  Gospel music.  Grace.  Hat boxes.  Hugs.  Petal-soft skin.  Pink satin pajamas.  Pond’s Cold Cream.  Prayer.  Pretty legs.  Quick smiles.  The 23rd Psalm.  The Price is Right.  Utmost tact.

Whenever I laid my head on her lap, I not only found the answer to all my nagging questions… I no longer needed answers because I had, in that moment, Deep Peace.  I miss her.  Painfully.  And I remember her always.

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5 Responses to “Happy (Belated) Birthday, Grandma”

  1. Kellie Says:

    This is a beautiful post. Erika. I will say a prayer today for your sweet Grandma. I didn’t really know either of mine, but can imagine the love you must feel for her. (Also, we lost my father-in-law to Alzheimer’s, so I can relate to that.) Blessings to you, my new friend.

  2. Jeanne Says:

    This post was so beautiful. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet your grandmother so long ago. I remember how strikingly beautiful she was…and just the huge sense of pride she had for you. Nothing could hide this.

  3. lifeblazing Says:

    @Kellie – Thanks so much for reaching out and relating. Your thoughtfulness means a lot. I appreciate your prayer… and YOU!

    @Jeanne – I don’t know whether I’m more moved by your kind Memorial, or your perfectly-timed re-entry into my life! I’m so grateful for both.

  4. Nicola Soma Says:

    Thanks Erica, I know. I feel the same about my Nana. She also suffered with Alzheimer’s in the end. I will always remember her singing Amazing Grace, making pikelets, sewing for me, good night songs, dancing a wee jig for me, in her apron, trifle, hair nets and bobby pins, eazie pants, sensible shoes, picking me up from school, Oil of Ulan, the National Program on radio, her smile. my hand in hers. I think she was very hard on her own children and then along came me. I think I got all her love, as the last one she cared for before the Alzheimer’s really kicked in.

    Just to make a difference in one child’s life is to have lived. She will always live on in me. Thank you Erica for reminding me.

  5. lifeblazing Says:

    @Nicola! I am so moved by your words… and it is I who should thank you! I find it interesting that the beautiful images you share of your Nana, stir up in me *familiarity* and *affection*. Maybe there’s something universal and commonly understood about a Grandmother’s Love? Your comment is so generous, and I am most thankful for it.

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