I’ve been thinking about my grandparents lately. Something about summertime stirs up memories of family reunions, the shade of a huge oak tree and the sound of an old country house at night. One of Mamaw and Papaw’s favorite places was the swing on their front porch. It seems like every time we drove into Belmont for a visit, they were waiting on that swing. Each evening we would gather on the front porch and the two of them would sway back and forth, side to side, on their personal wooden throne. I can still hear the mesmerizing sound of the chain slowly moving.
There weren’t many stories of wild adventures told on that porch but I heard about the joys and sorrows of most everyone they knew during those visits. They lived in a small world but they knew how to enjoy the simple things of life and how to love people in a big way. So many scenes flash through my head: Walking through the woods to check on a relative that had been sick, Papaw eating watermelon, Mamaw bringing chicken-n-dumplins’ to the church social just for me, gathering eggs from the chicken coop, learning to drive on dirt roads, building a lean-to in the woods. Nothing extraordinary but everything priceless.
My girls are growing up. I am not unaware of the fact that they will be gone in a few short years. On good days I am so proud of our family and the love we share. On bad days I wonder if they will remember simple, priceless things about our life. The thought that they will one day bring their families to see me is exciting. The thought that they would then have to leave isn’t so exciting. I can still see my grandparent’s faces when we would drive away after a visit and can only imagine that the emptiness never really leaves a parent’s heart when their children leave the house. I wonder if they knew that it hurt my heart to say goodbye or that their life was a point of pride for me. It’s hard to explain how but their hard work, perseverance in heartache, faith, contentment and love stitched together a blanket of security that I still wrap myself in. It’s my heritage. It makes me who I am and it motivates me to be better in honor of them.
I had Steve hang a porch swing for me. I want to spend more time out there on these hot summer nights and I hope my grandchildren think of me in 50 years are so and remember how much I loved them.