I have just spent a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving week with my mother who is the easiest of guests as her main objective while visiting is to get in as much time snuggling with her grandchildren as possible so I don't have to play tour guide and my kids are in seventh heaven!
As always, we spent a lot of time laughing about old family stories and sharing them with my husband and children. She mentioned how pleased she thought my grandmother (her mother-in-law) would be to know that I'm making my living (or, part thereof) sewing..... you see, she was a seamstress. Her husband, my grandfather, lived to the ripe old age off 100, and was self sufficient in his own home until just months before he passed away. I am blessed to have a lifetime of memories of time spent with him, his stories (which I perhaps didn't always listen to attentively enough, sadly) and his unadulterated kindness.
I am convinced that he lived so long, and well, because he was beyond vitriol, let go of anger, easily forgave and loved truly without boundaries. He was content in his very modest home and sought nothing but family and good company. Unfortunately, I don't recall as many details about my Grandmother, who passed away when I was three, but I do have some very vibrant memory of sitting on her lap while she stitched away on her Singer and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loved me with abandon as she knew our time together would be short.
I began sewing shortly before he died and one afternoon brought out a puppet theatre I was working on for my daughter's friend. He just beamed while he looked at the details and seams and asked me whether I had taken classes to learn, to which I responded I hadn't. He was quiet for a while and I wondered what he was thinking when he asked me the most peculiar thing, had I ever seen Dr. Zhivago?
He went on to replay the closing scene when General Yevgraf discovers that Tanya has learned to play the balalaika on her own (serving as proof she must be Yuri and Lara's daughter) and smiling, exclaims "Ah, then, it's a gift."
Of the thousand or so wonderful things he told me throughout my life, that was quite possibly the most touching and certainly one I hold close to my heart. I was very blessed to have had such a wonderful grandfather (in fact, two very wonderful grandfathers to be fair) in my life and am reminded to look around at how very fortunate I am to have two wonderful kids, Arnaud, my mother and sisters and a great group of friends with whom I shared this year's Thanksgiving feast.
I wish you as fortunate and fulfilling a holiday this year, however you celebrate, and a beautiful winter season, even as beautiful as this......
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