Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

Do you remember a toy that you played with that brings back memories of your childhood? Maybe it was the Big Wheel you got for Christmas or a certain kind of Barbie doll that you just HAD to have? You see it and immediately, those feelings rush back.
Mine was a squeaky toy that I really can’t remember. It was stolen from me when I was too young to build those memories.

Since the birth of my son, I’ve been looking online for toys. I stumbled on this squeaky toy and catapulted to the very last real conversation I remember having with my grandmother.

It wasn’t the first time she mentioned it. She would always say, “When you were little, you had the prettiest little squeaky giraffe toy. You loved that giraffe. It was this big and had brown dots everywhere. And the sweetest face. Then one day, there were a lot of kids over at the house. We never saw that giraffe again.”
It really bothered her that my favorite toy…her first and only grandchild’s (at the time) was stolen. She described it so well, I ‘saw’ the giraffe…even though I really had no recollection of playing with it myself.
So when I saw this giraffe, I immediately went back to that last conversation. I KNOW this is the giraffe. (“How can the same giraffe be sold now?” you are thinking to yourself. Apparently this was ‘born’ in 1961 so it’s been around a while…and the design hasn’t changed.)

My memories of my grandmother fades a little more each year. I feel like I am losing her again. At one point in my life, she was my primary caretaker. She was the one to pass on the love of gardening. She had natural artistic talents…that she also passed on. Aways so gentle: I cannot remember her ever being harsh with me.
And beautiful!
Even though life crushed her tiny body until it bowed, when you looked at her delicate features, you knew she was a stunner when she was young. I so wish I had a picture of her in her youth.

As I type this, I can’t help but think about all of my regrets: not knowing enough of the language to really converse with her…not having had the forethought to ask her her story…not having taken care of her later in life. But most of all, that last time, I wish I could have wrapped my arms around her tightly, kissed her and told her how much I loved and appreciated her.
I wish my son could have met her. She would have loved him.
So many regrets…useless, I know.

Being the practical person, I cannot justify buying this squeaky toy for $20. I just can’t.

It’ll be enough…just to look.
When I see a picture of this giraffe, I will see her gentle face. It’ll make me so happy I will cry…again.


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I’ve found that I ‘short cut’ stories by telling the people around me a set of fables, and then later referring to them as the “chicken story” or saying “He’s a scorpion.” etc. As I am writing more about my life and my thoughts here, I need to set the foundation of ‘common stories’ so anybody reading understands what these stories are without having to explain every time. So the next few posts will be little “bedtime stories.” I am sure I will be adding to the menagerie as I hear more. But for now my top 3:

The Chicken Story

There was a girl who would watch her mother prepare a whole chicken for dinner:

Her mother would take the chicken and cut it down the middle with a big knife. She’d put one side in a deep dish, season it, and place it in the oven. The other half, she would just throw away. The girl never thought much of it. It was the way it always was.

This went on for years. Until one day, the adult daughter asked her mother, “Mom, why do you cut the chicken in half and use only one side and throw away the other?”

The mother shrugged, “Well, that’s how my mother cooked her chicken. I’d watched her prepare it like that so I followed her way.” The answer left the daughter unsatisfied.

One day, the daughter went to visit her grandmother. She asked her why she cooked her chicken the way she did.

The grandmother answered, “When I was younger, we didn’t have a big house with a big kitchen. We definitely didn’t have a refrigerator or an icebox. So when we were fortunate enough to get a whole chicken, I’d cut it in half because we had a dish just big enough for a half a chicken. I didn’t keep the other half because, we couldn’t refrigerate it. And one thing about chicken: they go bad very quickly in hot weather. That’s why I only used half.”

Generally, traditions are good…and they were started for a reason…generally. But don’t do the same thing just because ”that’s the way we’ve always done it”.


Schools have a lot of chicken stories…teachers/professors with their lesson plans, the campus Greek system with things people do just because, building bonfires that have killed classmates just because we’ve always done it this way and you’re not going to stop me. Religious institutions are full of expectations and rituals that you may not understand. (Instead of undermining your faith, your questions may deepen it…or at least give you a renewed appreciation. Or it might have the opposite affect. But you’ll be THINKING.)

If you are okay with it, and it’s not hurting anyone…fine. Like opening presents Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning.

Don’t let The Man hold you down…or tell you how to think. J

God gave you a mind…use it.

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