I returned to work this morning after more than ten days of holiday. I didn’t mind coming back in to the quiet of my office. Late December is so busy that a day of office work felt like an opportunity to get a little rest.
My mind kept returning to my granddaughters, Sophia and Karina, and wondering how they were doing with back-to- school. I’d enjoyed spending more time with them over the holiday and some of their funny little ways kept popping into my mind.
And then I thought of one of our outings that wasn’t intended to be a “day of fun,” but will stay with me forever because of both tender and comic moments.
A few days before Christmas Aimee suggested we accompany my mom to the memorial park where my mom’s mother and step-father are interred. She also wondered if we might invite Sophia and Karina to accompany us.
When Aimee was Sophia’s age, 8 years old, she experienced the sudden death of a friend, thrusting her into immediate conversation about death and burial. But Sophia and Karina, thankfully, haven’t had any experience with death within the family or with any close family acquaintance.
Aimee explained to the girls why we would like to go to the cemetery and asked them if they would want to come with us. There was a little curiosity about what we were going to “do” once there. It was explained that we would take Christmas poinsettias and just spend a few minutes remembering our loved ones. Aimee had a very close relationship with her great-grandmother, much like Sophia and Karina have with theirs.
They seemed to understand this, although Karina was very quiet, which is not her natural state.
But a quick story about Sophia.
She puts a lot of effort into making it very clear that she’s the older sister. She does her best to hide her fears and concerns and isn’t always ready to talk about what those fears might be. Recently she turned all her American Girl doll heads in the direction opposite her bed so that their eyes aren’t looking at her while she sleeps–No, she’s never seen an episode of the Twilight Zone.
I wasn’t at all surprised when she quietly voiced a concern about “walking on bones.” I can almost anticipate how her imagination runs.
So on the Saturday before Christmas we packed the car with the five of us, four generations, with no plan except to pay a few moments of respect and remembrance with two beautiful poinsettias left for decoration.
As we drove into Rose Hills Memorial Park we received quite a surprise.
The photos aren’t too exciting, but seeing dozens of beautiful deer was very exciting. I wasn’t able to get a photo of the one lone buck with the gorgeous antlers, but Karina was immediately thrilled and excited to see “reindeer.”
My mom and the girls got out of the car ahead of me and began to walk up the slight hill and away from the car.
Aimee went to the back of the car to retrieve the poinsettias.
I stepped out of the car, took one step, and FELL in a hole! Within 10 seconds of leaving the car, I was DOWN!
Why am I always the one to find the hole?
And why does my family think this is just hysterical?
I looked up from my now seated position and Aimee is doubled over in laughter to the point of tears. Then I can hear laughter from two little girls. I don’t think my mother was laughing, to be fair to her.
Of course I’m not hurt, and it is pretty preposterous when you consider I’d only taken one step out of the car. I was laughing too, and hoped only the deer had witnessed my acrobatics.
By now, the girls are comfortable. The unexpected beauty of the deer had created a gentle transition.
And Nan provided the comic relief…AGAIN!
Just yesterday I was with the girls, and as we got out of the car, Karina quickly noted a very large depression in the sidewalk. She didn’t think twice before calling out, “Nan! Look out! There’s a big hole!”
Yep! When we think of our loved ones we remember so many things. Hopefully our memories are warm and can make us smile.
I already know what my granddaughters are going to remember about me!
“Nan! Look out for that hole!”