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I Like Dogs And Donkeys And Maybe 3 People Shirt, hoodie, tank top
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (And while I have you, quick apologies for ages 13-21) — PureWow
As I get ready for work in the morning, I often notice my maternal grandmother’s handkerchief draped over a framed print on a dresser. It was a gift from my mother several years ago. Recently, as I took in its gentle embroidery work, I picked it up and sniffed it in a futile attempt to pick up the scent of Helen, my grandmother.
Grandmother, whose scent was a unique blend of Folgers coffee, Avon cream, peppermint, and Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew, was always reassuring. This morning, I was fatigued and feeling particularly nostalgic as I held Grandmother’s kerchief. Her scent would have at least provided some small measure of comfort. Instead, I was left to trace the delicate stitching. Upon closer inspection, I noticed what appeared to be a stray pencil mark or two, and I was taken into the past.
My mind drifted to that fundamentalist country church of my youth. I often begged my mom’s permission to sit with Grandmother and Pappaw. Grandmother’s handbag, the size of a shoebox, was always well-supplied for church services that were sure to be long. Unclasp the top, and inside, one could find mints, assorted candy, gum, pencils, pens, and old C&O notepads from Papaw’s time of working on the railroad.
While both my grandmother and my mom expected that I stand and hold the hymnal anytime we sang, grandmother permitted me to continue holding the hymnal on my lap as a makeshift desk in order to write, draw, or even play the dot game or hangman with a sibling or cousin. In this manner, I was able to remain respectfully quiet, which was also expected by both of my “ruling” women.
If the sermon offered to the attending flock hit a certain emotional note, or if someone sang a special song, such as one originally performed by a popular gospel group at the time, the Happy Goodman Family, “What a Beautiful Day,” “God Walks the Dark Hills,” or if the congregation simply sang, “Amazing Grace,” I would often see tears stream down Grandmother’s face. She’d reach in her purse for a handkerchief, dab at her eyes, and continue to hold on to that handkerchief, squeezing it as if her life depended on it. Looking at the handkerchief, I suddenly remembered with great realism, Grandmother’s strong hands squeezing mine. It was faint, and then it was gone.