Sunday, May 9, 2010
I speak often about my large, loving family. We were fortunate to live next door to my maternal Grandparents; in southern terms, just across the field. Further down the lane was my Great Aunt Carrie's house. Aunt Carrie and her mother raised flowers to sell downtown on Market Square at the turn of the century...early 1900's. I have described in past blog articles that during my childhood, the remnants of all of those flower beds still existed all around our combined properties. I learned all manner of information and details about flowers, gardening and the old ways of tending the land from these relatives.
My Grandfather was a hard person, with his own set of struggles and faults, but he was a very good grandparent. One year when I was still small, we were outside playing and heard Grandpa's tractor start up. This was the signal to race across the field and investigate what exciting, interesting task was on the day's agenda. That morning, Grandpa was tilling and seeding the fields between our house and his. When we approached, asking for the inevitable tractor ride, he obliged, taking each of us up on his lap for a turn around the field.
Why is this important enough to write a blog article about it? I could say it is as simple as it being a lovely childhood memory and that would be true. I could leave it there and this would still be an enjoyable post to write and read. Yet it was more than that. Growing up in a home with an absent father, my Grandpa became our primary father figure. In later years this would also grow to encompass all five of my Uncles, but to begin with, my Grandpa was my first male hero.
That one summer where he did something that he probably didn't spend much time thinking about, was a moment where I was shown that small gestures matter. It was also a moment where I felt loved in that unique manner that all small children accept as their due. I was loved, cherished and cared for to the point that this busy, oftentimes gruff and brusque man took time to do something whimsical and thoughtful in a manner he knew would absolutely delight my little girl's heart.
As an adult, I have carried that moment with me, deep in my memories and heart. I have paid the moment forward regularly, paying attention to small things that matter to those around me. I am a sum of my childhood and my life experiences, and it makes me smile to finish this specific post and realize that once again, the reason so many people comment on my loving nature is because of the solid foundation I was given in childhood.
If you are reading this blog post, take a moment to cast your mind back and find a special memory to focus on where you felt that same warm blanket of love surrounding you. It may not be from your childhood; indeed, it could be from a week ago, but if you take a moment to concentrate, you will find it. With enough time and thought, you will find many such moments, for you are equally beautiful and equally deserving of the message, spelled out in daisies or in colorful script, or in nice, simple clean lines...that....You Are Loved.