I am thinking a lot about my two Grandmothers this season. Both of them are now at an age where they are in homes full time. And I know that if I sent them a card or a present this Christmas they wouldn’t know who it is from. I feel like they are missing from my Christmas.
And then the other day my daughter asked me to sing a carol to her, and as I haltingly tried to remember the words to “Hark the Herald” (all the verses please mum). I was taken back to a little baptist church in Mount Barker, all the family squeezed on to one pew and the triumphant sounds of this carol played by Granma on the organ.
As I make my Nanna’s famous home made Bailey’s. I get a strong memory of close to 30 of us, sitting around the table sipping baileys and eating mince pies, with the debris of christmas hats and spent crackers strewn about the table.
These are memories, and they are beautiful and poignant. Yet there is another legacy, or as Marc Cohn puts it “the things we’ve handed down”.
In my 4 year old daughter’s love of cooking I see my Nanna. In her already strong love of music I see my Granma.
In my 6 year olds already strong faith I see the legacy of my Grandma. In her creativity there are strong echoes of my Nanna who was always crafting something out of wood or paint, or pottery.
And of course these beautiful girls also have the legacy of Mr’s grandparents to draw on.
So even though I am teary as I write this, I’m also smiling, because my grandmothers are present this Christmas.
They may not remember who I am when I next go to visit, but I remember. I honour and acknowledge the things they have passed on to me. And I can see their legacy in my children.
Love you Nanna and Granma, God bless this Christmas,