There’s something about a visit from my grandparents that puts my life back into perspective.
When they look at my young daughter, they see me at that age. When my husband talks to my grandma, he hears me.
My son, just learning to walk, is delighted to try out great grandpa’s cane. And sitting there between his daddy and his maternal great grandpa, you can see that the family resemblance is strong on both sides.
Grandma and I talk about work and little ones and she recalls the days when she was a nurse by night and came home to care for four little children during the day while grandpa worked in the woods.
I grew up eating hot dogs and Top Ramen noodles at Grandma’s house. Now the roles are reversed as I fix old-fashioned vegetables they’ve never tried, and lunch is served on my red wooden picnic table instead of her fiberglass one.
I show Grandma the raised flower bed and fenced herb garden my husband built for me. And I point out the bleeding heart plant she gave me that originated in the flowerbeds of her mother-in-law, my own great-grandmother.
We take the time to sit and talk, to watch my girls play dress-up and my son take his toddling steps. Somehow nothing else seems more important than soaking up these moments and searing them into my memory.
My daughter walks the lane holding her great grandma’s hand, delighting with her in the flowers and the birds along the way. And if her hair was red and the driveway a different one it would be me there by Grandma’s side twenty-five years ago.
We say our goodbyes and suddenly, time spans generations and life seems so very short and family so very precious.