Fun Mondays Treasure


We bought three "Grandmother Remembers" books for Christmas 1983. One for my mother, one for the hubby's Gram, and one for his mother.

Eighty-one year old Gram spent the next year working tirelessly filling every page. She even wrote and pasted pictures in the table of contents.

In the excitement of wrapping it for the hubby and placing it under the next years Christmas Tree, she could barely contain herself. When he opened it and began to leaf through her memories, she wiggled, giggled, smiled, and cried until all her wrinkles were filled with tears.

She passed away in 1997 at the age of 95. I'll be writing about her soon.

My mom died in 1993. We found the partially completed remembrance in a book shelf in her house. She worked on it slowly and thoughtfully. I guess I'm a lot like her in that I set things aside with the intention to get back to it soon. Although I look at the empty pages with some regret, the ones she completed are real to me. On them I sense her loving thoughts, the fragrance of her hand lotion, and the wear on each corner made by her work-roughened hands.

The third book is a sad story. I didn't take a picture because it is empty. The hubby's mom refused the opportunity to write her story. Perhaps someday we can come to terms with an empty book that signified an empty life that ended in 2003. My husband is a wonderful man, and for that reason alone I never dishonored her. Unfortunately, the unmarked pages do not deny the marks that were left on the minds and souls of her two children.

So todays treasure is in fact the love of two amazing women who filled our lives with blessings.

Head over to Karmyn's for all the Fun Monday participants

Comments

swampy said…
My first Fun Monday to vist. Because of my schedule, it may be my only one, BUT how grateful I am to have read this one. Words left unsaid are sometimes the most powerful. How we deal with them makes us who we are in many ways. Happy for you that two of the books were written in. Maybe your hubby can write his own story in that book for your kiddos.
I am currently completing two of my own for my girls. This was just the motivationn I needed to pick up that pen again.
theotherbear said…
What a FAB idea. Sad one was not done, but so wonderful that you have two. I am so touched by this idea and wish I had thought of it for my own Grandma.
Beccy said…
I have never heard of those books but what a lovely idea. I guess you must try and focus on the two you have. I like Swampys idea re: your husband completing the third.
Jenny said…
Beautiful and poignant as always.

You bring me to tears too often.

(But it's worth it.)
min said…
Wow! Powerful. What joy in the two books that have captured wonderful memeories. I think the third should remain undone...I think that says so much in itself!
Now there's an idea!! Thanks for the very personal and poignant post!
Heather said…
Oh, what a great idea! I think I really should get some of those for my mother and mother-in-law. But, my mother - being the self-deprecating kind - will probably say "oh, there's nothing interesting about my life."
C said…
That is very touching. I may want to do that for my son. I know I don't like my ex-mother in law but my son loves her so I can't taint his memories of her with my feelings.
Melissa said…
Oh, how touching and sad and reminiscent of my own mom and mil.
Little Miss Moi said…
Dear pamela. That made me quite sad. My dad's family was similar - they came to australia from scotland and left any idea about sentimentality and memories behind.
Karmyn said…
I'll have to read Gram's next time I come to visit.
Robin said…
"...she wiggled, giggled, smiled, and cried until all her wrinkles were filled with tears."

My favorite line, Pamela.

This is one of my favorite posts of yours, it is fraught with depth and emotion. It paints a portrait of three ladies...in just a few words we know much.
Elizabeth Joy said…
I got my grandma one of those books to fill out so my kids would know about her, and she also refused. I didn't understand at all then why she wouldn't. All my kids have are my memories of her. Maybe I should write them down as best I can so there is some memory left her her. How precious the two books that you do have are. I do hope you are filling one in for your grand kids.
Susie said…
I helped my Mom remember things as I filled out a book with her. I'm so glad I did it sooner rather than later..
Beautiful post..
:)
Amy W said…
What an amazing idea, but unfortunately, I don't think any of kids' grandmothers would do this.
James Cooper said…
Wow, this is an amazing post and an excellent idea from your mom and grandmother. I suppose a collection of memories needn't wait till we get much older, either. I think I'll begin collecting some of my most significant moments and keep it up until I near the end of my memories.
Shauna said…
What a wonderful way to cherish the memories. . .And, it is truly from the heart!

Unfortunately, I would share the one about hubby's mom with Birddog's mom. . .
ChrisB said…
I think this is a lovely idea and you have made me feel guilty as I was given such a book by work colleagues when My first grandchild was born and it is not completed, I shall have to look it out.
Vicki said…
you are a wife to be treasured.
her indoors said…
that is such a great idea, i wish i had something like that to read from my mother, grandparents
Matt said…
Clean that house, Pam. You are so easily distracted.
mjd said…
What a bittersweet memory. I hope that I am able to do my part as a grandmother.
willowtree said…
Boy, I wish I had the foresight to have done that! I've never heard of these things but they are a great idea!
SongBird said…
My mom has a book just like that given to her by my sister who is the only one of us three kids to have kids of her own. I don't know if Mom has started filling the book out yet, but I do know she has written a lot of wonderful letters to her two granddaughters. And she has given them many, many wonderful memories to cherish.
Bethany said…
What a wonderful idea! I have to get a few of those.
East of Oregon said…
I like this idea alot!
kailani said…
What a wonderful tradition. I think we may have to start something like that here.
PEA said…
I've never seen those books but what a wonderful idea. What a shame that your hubby's mom didn't put anything at all in hers...I guess some just aren't into that kind of thing. I had made baby books for my two boys when they were born and they're all filled up now...I know they will appreciate going through them when I'm gone! xoxo
nikki said…
what wonderful keepsakes! my 95 year old grandma and i sit down a lot and look at all her old pictures. good for her to remember and great memories for me to look back upon!
BarnGoddess said…
wonderful way to preserve memories! and to pass on after we are gone to keep our loving memories alive.

great idea
kate said…
Great that you have 2 to look at fondly, but, when I read this it made me wonder if perhaps the book was too tough of a reminder to her of all she didnt do that she might have... and she couldnt find enough positive to put into it.

We gave my Father in Law a book like that. He always had stories for us (he was the first son of the first son of the first son of the keeper of the port in Sicily... ya and that made for VERY interesting stories) He never touched the book. We offered to sit with him and write what he told us... but he declined. I am not sure why... but it is sad for my children and his other grandchildren that they didnt have the opportunity to hear those stories first hand (or read them)I have a terrible memory and he told me more stories than he told anyone else (probably because I kept asking him questions)

Have a great day!
wolfbaby said…
How wonderful to be able to hold in your hands something someone you loved took the time to write for you to treasure. So sad about his mom not completing his but so very nice that the other two were worked on. Most definetly a precious treasure.
Tiggerlane said…
There is a "grandmotherish" theme to many of this Fun Monday's posts.

I just got tickled with your description of Gram, getting all excited about the book. Can't wait to hear more about her.
Sally Lomax said…
I agree with Swampy and Beccy!

Fill in as much a you can yourselves. All your memories of her, all of your husband's and then put in as much of the family tree as you can. After all, it just makes it a biography rather than an auto biography! Perfectly acceptable!!

Sally
Jeanette said…
Hi Pamela
What wonderfull little books with all those memories, i have never heard of them My dear Mum passed away January 1997. I wish we had a book like those to look back on.so many beauiful memories
judypatooote said…
It must be a mother in law thing..
My daughter bought both her grandmas one several years ago, and my mom filled hers out, and mother in law didn't....I think it is so important for our children to get an idea of what their parents or grandparents were like as kids...because as a kid, did we ever think our parents were kids? Maybe it takes age to be able to want to know things like that, but you can't wait for it could be to late......That's why blogging is so special.....write it and print it.....when I die, my kids will be bogged down with paper....tons of paper, all with my blogging stories....LOL Great Post!
AJ said…
Wow... Pamela what an excellent post! You always make my visits to your blog worthwhile! LOL. I think I may need to find some books like that for my Grandmother's before they get to where they cannot recall things as well as they do now....
Kathleen Marie said…
How bittersweet for you...the joy and the sorrow. My kids bought my hubby a book like that and he just hasn't taken the time. At 55 you still think you will live forever I think.

I will have to remind him.

Hugs to you and looking forward to hearing more about the grandma's.

Hugs!
Susan in va said…
What a wonderful idea! I knew you would have something fabulous for this post ;)

BTW, you made me ROFL with your "Gramela" comment.
Kila said…
I bought those same books for my grandmas! The grandma that has passed on did fill it out, and it's quite precious to me.
Biker Betty said…
What great ideas. I can just feel the excitement of Gram. You convey feelings so well. I can't wait to hear more about her. Now I had better go and finish my younger son's baby book. I feel a little guilty.
Tammy said…
I have a mother's memory book- the simplistic kind- to fill in but sadly, I have forgotten to complete it. My children are still little, so part of it has been the busyness of life, but this has been a wonderful reminder to finish it.
Also, my own mother has so many stories inside of her that she needs to write...she now has a blog, but I'm hoping she writes more of the stories from when she was young.
Poignant and wonderful post.
Anonymous said…
I don't like thinking that I'll be gone when someone reads my story.
sucks. ivy

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