Ten years ago tomorrow, my mom technically became an orphan. When she lost her mom of over 90 years. I wrote this as a reflection of her and her dedicated view of her family.
In Memory of Mary E. MacKinnon
When I reflect on growing up, I fondly remember the times we went to Grandma's house on 1391 Ruffner Road. Her simple green house with the long hallway that echoed with my footsteps underneath it. And the many times when we would gather around in her dining room overlooking the bay window in front. Sitting in the upholstered chairs and below the rich red velvety carpet. And her flow blue china sitting in the cabinets along the wall.
I remember listening to Grandma's stories and the times we were in her family room which overlooked her back yard and seeing and hearing the occasional bird that would fly by and of hearing the wind against the trees.
Of Grandma , in her red apron, standing at the stove, moving gracefully from corner to corner. Making up a fresh batch of muffins or a fresh pot of steaming stew, Many trips taken out of love and dedication for family.
Of the thanksgiving and reunion meals that we would share with all of our cousins and uncles and aunts. And of the times of laughter and advice exchanged during these times.
Of the clock on the wall heading up to the attic and the vast basement below. Where a vigorous dad would do his military exercise routine. Half scaring Grandma. Of the hooked rugs and the fine colorful crystal bowls with the red fish hanging from their sides.
And of our final visit to see Grandma at her home on Halloween weekend to be with her and keep her company when all of her neighborhood would visit. Filling her life with a fullness and less silence.
These are just a few of the memories that I have of spending time at Ruffner Road while we lived in Fairfield. Now it is 10 years later after she died. And I just wanted to share and bring back some of the memories that we shared as a family.
And I see Grandma in you mom and dad every day in your care and concern for Randy and me. And in how you shape life. Of how she gave you the chance to be a mom-in-training as you helped to train our uncles and aunt in growing up to be strong members of our society. As they shaped the lives of others.
And of your time in Hawaii, Mom, when you battled a big spider with your sneaker.
As we visited Grandma through the years, your dedication, Mom and Dad, were steadfast. Even when her support may have waned to you both along with her memory and her aging. The sun set several times;yet, the sun brought some beautiful sunrises as well. Leaving afterglows well into the evenings and the mornings.
Even when it may have felt like a wave at the ocean when it comes into Higgins Beach. Always knowing that a stronger one comes in later. And I see the strength of the waves each day as you tackle and face the problems of life. Looking at the framed view of the ocean anchored by the sea-faring roots as a family.
Being of the Sea and the vastness which lays below. And of the beauty when she intersects with her neighbors, the rocks. And of her friends, the gulls and the seals. Crawling along the edge of the seal island and lumbering up on shore for a rest and some sun. And gracefully plopping back to seas beneath. Gliding effortlessly below.
And I am grateful for how you learned the lessons of your mom and have placed yourselves within the view of a lifetime to allow those memories to permeate every pore of our being. May you be blessed and cheered on by these words.