Still With Me



I was channeling my Grandmother the other day…


do you ever do that?


Feel your loved ones from the other side with you? Within you? I do all the time. Especially her.

My Beautiful Grandmother, imperfect like us all… but to me the earthly manifestation of loveliness.

My Parents were from completely different worlds growing up.  My mother was raised by a first generation Italian American who grew up in Connecticut in settlement houses , shining shoes , serving in the war , and making his way through college with the hard-earned money of his siblings, to become a social worker.  His wife ( my Grammie)  came from Illinois,  born to her mother as a late in life surprise and adored by her much older siblings. She became a nurse and in addition to raising their 5 children in the 1940’s and 50’s, also fostered babies , oftentimes with special needs or “ colored” babies, which did not go over too well in their time and town.  They were liberal democrats.

My father grew up on the Eastern shore of Maryland for the most part. His father after serving  in the war, returned to the small town of Pokomoke , married my Grandmother , had 3 Children (2 boys and a girl) and lived their lives in a very old-fashioned, proper, southern way. Grandpa worked and Grandma,  along with their loved “help” Hennie, raised the children and maintained a beautiful home. They were southern conservatives.

This is what I know. I am certain there is far more to the story… but this is what I know.

After 8 years together my parent’s  differences could not be worked out… and I’ll leave that there.

My Mother moved us to California where her parents had retired, and I rarely saw my father or his family again until I was an adult, at which time I reconnected with then.

I deeply, deeply love all of my family… on both sides… but the connection with my father’s mother has always been different. She has been accused of “playing favorites” over the years and I understand how hurtful that can feel if not one… But what it was …     I think…  was not favoritism … rather connection.  An innate connection to certain people. Some people we just recognize, relate to easier, understand more .  We just know each other.  Especially with relatives because of  the genetics.   We are literally a part of them.

She and I shared many common interests and traits even though I was not raised with her influence. The love of Gardening, history and reading. Her home was always beautiful decorated in an understated sort of elegance. Her style was simple and lovely. Her go to outfit was always a crisp blouse a pair of blue jeans and white tennies. When she dressed up , a simple pencil skirt and another blouse and pumps.

I think of her when I dress up, when I am in my Garden, when I walk into an antique shop, when I smell boxwood.   I talk to her and ask for her guidance in a lot of things.  And I wear her perfume when I need a little extra love. Because with her… I always fealt accepted and loved.  There are many people who come and go from our lives that challenge and teach us and help us to grow… but everybody needs someone to make them feel accepted and loved just by being themselves, and she was that to me.

Last November, my sweet husband … another one who makes me feel loved always… showed up in the middle of the day … and called to me to come outside.   He had taken her bike, given to me by my Dad and damaged by the hurricane the month before , and had it restored.  And unbeknownst to him…

delivered it to me on her birthday.

It was possibly the nicest gift I’ve ever received because I felt as though it had come  not only from Paul,  but also from her. How else do you explain the timing.

The other day I dressed in my favorite outfit. A crisp white blouse, and blue jeans .  I put on my Grandmothers perfume and went about my day.   It wasn’t until that evening when I found myself on her bike with my cheeks aching from smiling that it occurred to me she had orchestrated that beautiful day for me.  She was channeling through me,

still here, still living,  and as long as I invite her….

still with me.