Her hair was white as snow! And a bun, perched atop her head, seemed to look like a floating halo. This was my Grandmother.
" Grandma," I asked, "Are you an Angel?" I can still hear her laugh and see her eyes roll Heavenward. "Goodness child!" "Where do you get such thoughts?" "I can't fly!"
Well, Grandma settled the Angel question; but I still thought Grandma was my Angel and I simply adored her.
When my mother would say, "Why don't you go down to Grandma's house." I was out the door before she finished the word Grandma, and I skipped the full block to her big white house!
Grandma seemed to make all my "make-believes" come true. One "make believe" I shall never forget, was given to me on Christmas Eve.
Now Grandma was an old German woman, and she didn't waste words on me; but her deeds spoke words of their own. She knew that little girls dream, just as she had dreamed of coming to America. When Grandma was 21 yrs. old, she left her family and friends, and all alone, in a small sailing vessel, she crossed a stormy sea to arrive in a land that she had dreamed about for many years.
Grandma had what I called, a "Secret Room." The door to that room was always closed---except for special occasions. One such occasion was on Christmas Eve!
After Church, we would all stop at Grandma's house. Running and sliding on the long sidewalk leading to her front porch, and flying up her grand steps, I stopped ---
I had not expected to see a beautiful candle-lit tree!
Grandma had pulled back her pretty lace curtains so we could see her tree glowing through the window. I pressed my hands against the windowpane and looked up to see an Angel holding a shimmering star at the very top of the tree! In a moment, the Angel was gone; but the star was in place and shining brightly.
Once inside Grandma's house, I could see that the "Secret Room" was open! Indeed, this was a special occasion!!!
Grandma's parlor looked and smelled like what I thought Heaven must be like. The old varnished wood fireplace with green surrounding tiles, gave off pungent wood smells that intermingled with the smells of evergreen boughs. And something in brown mugs made my mouth water---oh!---HOT COCA with a big marsh-mallow floating on top!!!
I wanted to ask Grandma if this was what heaven was like; but after her Angel answer, I just
thought I had better be still; besides I spied something under the tree!
Dare I look? Was it for,---ME ? Sure enough! My name was in BIG letters---so it must be for ME !
I looked at Grandma and she was smiling. When Grandma smiled, I knew that everything was all right. She spoke, "Go kinder, it is for you!" "Open it!"
I carefully unwrapped this " BIG " package. The first thing my eyes saw, were a new pair of scissors. I never had a pair of new scissors! Were these really for me? I looked over at Grandma with a question on my lips that was silenced. Grandma was still smiling and nodding her head. It was at that moment that I saw the BIG FAT BOOK!
This was the very book that I had seen Grandma looking through many many times. Oh how I wanted that book because it had all of my make-believes! Why I could build a whole house for myself and have anything I wanted! I could even have a Washing Machine like mama wanted, and beautiful dresses! Shoes! Lots of shoes! Even real silk-stockings! I would never have to wear long underwear again as they made my cotton outer socks wind around and around!
Looking over at Grandma, she was still smiling, and so I ran to hug and kiss her and tell her that this was the best present I ever got!!!
And that is how I got to be the proud owner of a used Sears & Roebuck Catalog!
You see, Grandma remembered how little girls dream. She knew the hours of "make believe"
were just ahead for me.
To this very day, I recall the times spent at Grandma's house, sitting on the linoleum floor of her dining-room---cutting out anything I wanted, so I could put together a make-believe world!
I dedicate this remembrance story to my own daughter, who is a Grandmother to 4 darling
children, and who faithfully gives of herself in many loving ways that they will ever remember
when they are grown. And to all Grandmothers who play such important roles in the lives of their children's children. God bless them!