In 1986 when I was a young wife and mom, my Grandma Lura passed away. Dale and Kristin were just toddlers. She and I remain kindred spirits still, 23 years later. She taught me to fold the sheet corners just so, a perfect blanket stitch, that noodles will not dry on a rainy day, how to cook eggs, and that garlic makes beef taste great. Nobody made fried chicken taste like hers. I think of her as I go about every day.
We both loved being home more than anywhere else. From her I learned to find great joy in a really good pan and a simple sewing machine. We were both the oldest sister, the mother, the aunt, the wife. I believe that my ever-present need for caring for others I gained from her. I was blessed to know her as an adult. We shared secrets and she gave me bowls and aprons that I still use. A few weeks after her funeral my Mom gave me Grandma's wedding ring. I have worn it everyday since. It is one of my greatest treasures.
I never knew Alan's Grandmothers but I do know how close Alan was to them and that I must be a little bit like them both. We do so many things "just like Grandma Metzger did." We have baby quilts that Grandma Croft made for him and will wrap babies in them again someday. Throughout the past 28 years, Evelyn and Jim have given me the cook books written in their handwriting with dull pencils and a rocking chair in which three generations of Croft babies were held close and rocked into slumber. I love them as much as I love that old green bowl that my Grandma gave me.
This week, Evelyn sent another something home for me with Alan...his Grandma's wedding ring. I slid it onto my finger with my Grandmother's ring and there it will remain. It was a gift of gifts and I will be forever grateful to her for knowing how much it would mean to me.