>When Cory and I bought our house in 2003 I was excited to have my own flower garden. I went to Grandma’s house that next spring and we walked around her house while she pointed out all of her flowers. She has beautiful irises out by the gas tank, though at the time they were pretty depleted, she had just dug some up to give to a friend in town. She mentioned that she loved the irises, they are such pretty flowers, but they don’t live very long before they are gone for the season. We walked along the back of the house, up the few steps along the flowerbed that runs alongside the back deck. There were daisies spotting the flower bed in different places. “We will have to dig up some of these daisies for you to take back to your new house, these daisies are from my mom’s garden,” Grandma said to me.
We picked nearly all of the flowers out of the gardens and we put them in recycled vegetable cans. We packed them up in the back of the car and went to visit the graves of cherished family members. Grandma and Grandpa drove us all over Mills County and beyond to put all of Grandma’s beautiful flowers on graves. We went to her Grandmother’s grave and Grandma said, “This is my grandma. I put flowers on her grave every Memorial Day. She was such a special lady and she was always so good to us kids.”
That was my grandma; a woman who picked all of her own beautiful flowers and gave them away. Whether it be to dig them up so some other person could continue too grow them in their own garden, or if it be her way of saying, “I still love and remember you” to a Grandmother that has been gone for nearly a lifetime.
My Grandma is love.
Daisies have a tendency to spread. No matter where you plant them, they will take over with their beautiful, bright blooms. They will even jump around your flower bed. Someone once told me that they planted daisies in their garden, and some popped up on the other side of the fence in the neighbor’s yard.
My Grandma really liked roses, her casket spray included several pink tea roses too suit her, but I kind of think of her as more of a daisy kind of person. When I was a child, I spent many days with my grandmother. Trying to pin down one special memory of her to share at her funeral was terribly difficult. When I was very young I would follow her around and pick vegetables, apples, and grapes from the garden. I loved the cinnamon pickles that she would make from the cucumbers from the garden.
I was fascinated by her from as far back as I can remember. She called me her little dish washer, because I would stand by her at the sink and dry dishes while I talked her ear off. In recent years she always said that her great granddaughter Kenna reminded her of me, because Kenna loves to talk. I was surprised when she made the comparison because I have never thought of myself as a big talker, but I appreciated that she remembered me as a child so well, though that shouldn’t have surprised me.
Grandma would go to craft fairs and come home with all kinds of ideas for 4H projects. My parents both worked and my mom was going to school. Without Grandma I never would have been able to participate in 4H, but I did it, and I did it well because of Grandma. She taught me how to follow a recipe, and then she taught me that you don’t really need to follow a recipe. She taught me how to sew dresses and crafts and pillows. We would buy a pattern to follow, and then she taught me that I didn’t really need a pattern. At nearly 27 years old, I love to cook and sew, but I never follow a recipe, and I can’t remember the last time I bought a pattern.
I have so many memories of my grandmother, far more then I could ever put in this blog or anywhere else but my heart. This week has been the hardest of my life, learning to accept that my Grandma Dalene is gone from this earth is a hard lesson, and I am not quite ready to learn that yet.
I took all of the pictures off of her memory card while I was back in Tabor and I kept watching this short video that she accidentally took. She never quite got how to work that camera. In the video you can tell that Grandma is holding the camera to her chest, pointed down at the floor. She was probably studying the back of that camera trying to decipher how too take a picture. In the video you can see the toes of her shoes. She walks across the floor and it is like you are right there with her, resting in her hand. What I wouldn’t give to be walking at her side, but that isn’t how it is meant to be. But those daisies, they jump around.
I haven’t transplanted the daisies yet, I always seem to forget them when the season is right to transport them, but I will. I don’t know where those daisies started, maybe it was my great Grandma Anderson’s house, or maybe she transplanted them from somewhere else, no matter where they came from, their journey is not over. Just as my grandma passed on to me the way to bake a cherry pie, and how, if it is too tart, all you have to do is lift up the top crust on your slice and sprinkle a little sugar; and how to turn a pair of 80’s style hammer pants into pants I wasn’t embarrassed to wear; I will be sure to teach my daughter, and my future grandchildren how to create, how to give and how to love as my Grandma did. Those daisies will find their way across the state, and they will continue to grow, even though Grandma is gone from this earth, she made the foundation in her garden and that is just the beginning.