Last night I cleaned my sheets. And I will remember that forever. I replaced my pillowcases with these ones (I took this picture in the morning). And they smelled like my Grandma.
They were hers. And I'm crying knowing that last night was the last time I will ever smell her again. I took these pillowcases from her things. I chose them. She had actually made two other sets for me, but I when I was looking at her things once she was gone, I wanted these ones. They were hers.
I loved sleeping at my Grandmas. When they moved from the farm into town, I would sleep with the window open. I liked that you could hear the train go by. I loved the squeaky bed. I loved the hand-made linens. I loved the white lamp with the cheap shade that let off a yellow-ish light. I loved my Grandma. So much.
And so maybe chasing that memory of a good sleep at Grandmas house I chose these pillowcases. Grandmas laundry was always so clean. Her towels were the best. Her whites were so white. And they smelled so good. Not like detergent or perfume. And they weren't too starchy. They were just right. Something I didn't know I was appreciating as a child, but I was. I know that now.
So when my head hit the pillow last night (not even thinking that I was using Grandmas pillowcases) it all came rushing back to me. And I was up all night, breathing it in deeply, thinking about my Grandma. Soaking her pillowcase with tears.
She didn't smile for pictures. And the last time I saw her she was watching OLN and her hair was standing on end. But she was perfect. She was the kind of Grandma that made hundreds of hand-made perogies for my wedding, spoke so proudly of my dad & was a hard worker. She was a woman dedicated to her family and without ever hearing someone say that until her funeral, I knew it.
She is the only Grandma I ever knew and I loved her so much.
And these things aren't the only things that I have to remember her by. They are just things. They are pillowcases, a recipe card & photos. I have memories. Of her yelling at us to get out of her garden and stop playing the the rain barrels. Or going to Co-op with her in her big cushy car & being so happy to buy boxed cookies. To build an igloo in her front yard with my cousins. To wake up to her on Christmas morning. To see her fishing. Or crocheting. Or watching gameshows louder than a jet plane. I remember her baking bread. And her chirping clock. And seeing her cry last summer when I was talking about Grandpa, fifteen years after he was gone.
Lucky me, to have all those things. All those memories. And those items. Lucky me to have been given one last night of that good sleep at Grandmas house I so loved without knowing it. Even after she was gone.
You were the best, Grandma. And I loved you. And I miss you. And I hope you know.