Monday, May 23, 2011

Toast with butter and jam....

Don't you hate it when you know you are getting sick?  Friday I knew I didn't feel great, and by that evening I remarked "I am pretty sure I'm getting sick." My daughter had been sick most of the week with a bad cold, and the baby to whom I am Mimi had been with me for the weekend before and was sick with a bad cold.  So the timing was just right if I was to come down with that cold.  But my Saturday was planned - a day out with my camera to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Out to capture some shots of waterfalls, and just enjoy the beauty of the drive along the Parkway.  I pushed myself through that day - even hiked several miles (oh, yea - there's a difference in performance when you are sick and have a fever!) - but I got through the day.  Sunday was also planned - I was Mimi for the day, and a 13-mo old doesn't have mercy for you just because you aren't feeling well! But last night when those plans were all done and behind me, my body let me know that I am sick - and it was now time to rest.  I'm already to the place of not being contagious, but my body needs some rest to feel better.  So today is my sick day.  I'm not a very good sick person.  In fact, I'm a horrible patient.  But that's not what I'm really blogging about.  So I'll move on from that path.

Because I don't feel well, I knew I needed to get something to eat this morning, and even my morning latte didn't sound good... so instead it was a cup of hot tea and some toast.  I was toasting a couple of pieces of bread, spreading the Smart Balance and then some peach preserves on each piece, when all of a sudden I started to cry.  Not just a few tears, but sobbing.  Part of me was thinking "where in the world is this coming from" and another part was "yep, have definitely finally lost your mind!"  I sat down with my toast, though, and let what was really in my heart have my mind.  (This may sound crazy - but this is my blog, so I get to make the rules!)  I was thinking about my Grandmother.  Making toast when sick makes me think of her.

You see, when I was a little girl I spent lots of my time with my grandparents (actually, as much as possible!)  My Grandmama and Granddaddy hung the moon in my little eyes.  I was the firstborn grandchild, and I knew I was a princess in their castle.  My Granddaddy wasn't too sure he wanted people to think he was old enough to be a grandfather when my Mom was expecting me (he was very young...everyone in my family has been pretty young having their kids) - but once he laid eyes on me, I could have called him anything I wanted.  Just as long as I loved him and knew he loved me.  I am pretty sure my Grandmother, on the other hand, adored me from long before I was born.  Anyway... When I was somewhere around 3, I was there with them for a stay and they were both sick.  Sick to the point that they needed to stay in the bed.  (I've learned in having my own kids that at that age - it's nearly impossible to be sick with a small child around.) But I was different.  They told me they were sick and had to rest, and I had to play quietly.  Knowing they were sick, I must have seen somewhere that sick people ate toast.  So I dragged the toaster, a loaf of bread, butter and jam into the bedroom... I found a box to place the toaster on (I mean, floors are dirty!) and I proceeded to make them toast with butter and jam whenever they would wake up, and the rest of the time I had my books to look at and I would sit quietly.  All I can really remember other than making and serving them that toast and jam was that they were better very soon.  And it had to be because I had taken such great care of them.  Believe me, they paid me back throughout my life...always taking care of me and loving me beyond words or understanding. There was never a lack of love with them and I never questioned my place or importance in their life.  The only thing I did to deserve their love was to be born...and I never felt there was really anything I could do that would lose their love.  This being said, I also knew they would discipline me if I needed it...but in this there was never question of their love for me - only proof. 

With all of the bad things I have been through in my life, I could actually write novels based on my experiences.  But the saddest and most traumatic day of my life was January 16, 2002, when my Grandmother was killed in a car accident.  It is a day I will never forget - because in some ways a huge part of me died along with her that day.  She was so much a part of who I was...and who I am today.  Hardly any day goes by that doesn't include some thought of her...but there are those moments when a memory is triggered (such as this morning) that I have to pause and sob over missing her so very much.  My Grandmother taught me so much about unconditional love and forgiveness.  She was no pushover, by far.  She was a very passionate and strong woman who would speak her mind - and she always spoke truth. You always knew if you made her angry or disappointed her...but you always knew that she loved you; that she prayed for you; that she would do anything she possibly could do for you.  She would give someone her last dollar - and she would take care of someone sick even if she could barely stand how bad she felt herself.  She was a woman of self-sacrifice.  My Grandmother was the strongest woman I knew...she was no stranger to heartbreak or hard work...and she never ran from either of those.  Rather, she accepted that they were a part of this great life...and part of the plan God had for her life.  I have no doubt that I will see my Grandmother again.  She is singing in the choir in heaven right now and making friends with anyone that will stop to question about it.  I can still hear her contagious laughter...she laughed through everything.  I learned how to be a strong woman from my Grandmother.  I learned how to be a real Christian from her life.  And I am so proud of the qualities in me that came from her...whether they were inherited or developed.  There is no one I would rather be compared with than her...and I hope at the end of my life I leave anything of the legacy that she left from the life she lived. 

I would imagine that whenever I am sick...or even if I just want toast...that there's a great possibility it will make me cry.  There are many other things that bring this great woman to my mind...and I miss her terribly.  But these tears are not just sad tears, they are happy tears that God chose her to be my Grandmother...and I see that as just more proof of how much He loves me!

This is a photo of my daughter - and baby B (she's 13-mos-old and to her I am Mimi)... we had her outside last night so she could ride around in her new wagon. 
This is a photo of my Grandmama and Granddaddy...Lenora Christopher Swink and Kenneth E Swink, Sr.  Losing her has greatly affected us all...but my Granddaddy lost the love of his life, and sometimes I believe he also lost his focus.  I'm sure not a day goes by that his heart doesn't ache all the time over missing her.

Also visit my Photography by DonnaKay blogspot... a little more about my life as I grow my photography business...