Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Hanky

It has been far too long since I sat down at my chair to write. I blame my new fancy, smart phone. Lots of fun stuff to play with. I hope I get over it sometime soon. I never wanted to be one of "those" people with a crook in their neck from staring at their phone too long.
 
This post is prompted by a conversation I had with Angie, my co-worker, who I spend a good portion of my day with answering phones and greeting people. We have had some lovely conversations about all kinds of things. But nothing has stirred me more emotionally than talking about handkerchiefs this week. I caught an old-fashioned cold on Sunday and was complaining about how raw my nose is getting from tissue. I made a remark about how I finally get why my grandma always used a real hanky. And that's how it started.
 
A couple years ago, while stopping in to see my aunt, she handed me a quart-sized ziploc bag that contains some old photos, a hand-written letter I had sent to grandma, two scarves and the beautiful pictured handkerchief that belonged to my grandmother. Grandma had died the year before and I did not attend her funeral. I hadn't really thought about her dying. I am the queen of denial. That's just how I roll.
 
I opened that ziploc bag the same day my aunt gave it to me and it was like letting a genie out of a bottle. Ugh. I couldn't stop crying so I stuffed all those things, including my feelings, neatly back into the bag, zipped it up and tucked it away into the drawer with the other things that cause me to cry.
 
Until today, I hadn't looked at that hanky or the photos since the day they were given to me.
 
Time really does heal wounds.
 
Today, I took those scarves out and wrapped them on my head, closed my eyes and tried to remember grandma wearing them. It occurs to me that she always had curlers on when she wrapped the scarves on her head. I don't know. It's been too long. Maybe she wore them around her neck. 
 
But oh, the handkerchief.  It is the most beautiful and I remember that she always had one in her purse.
 
I miss her terribly but today I didn't cry. I smiled and marveled about the chain of events that leads me everyday.  Thank you, Angie, for the conversations on a daily basis. If not for that, I don't know when I would have ever opened that ziploc bag.

love, susan

1 comment:

  1. I am basking in memories right now. I have two of my grandmother's hankies, and several of my mother's. My favorite is a small pink hankie embroidered with "Alaska" and a picture of a husky on one corner. My parents lived in Anchorage in the 40s, and mom sent that to my grandmother.

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