May 20, 2005
When my dad asked me to speak today, it was difficult to sit down and sum up how I feel about my Grandma in a short passage. What can I tell you about Marie that you don’t already know? What can I possibly say in this short time that will honor her in the way she deserves?
I suppose all I can do is tell you what my grandma means to me. When I think of my grandma I think of food. I think of strong calves, and her flipping around in my dad’s slippers that were five sizes too big for her. I think of her beautiful German accent on my answering machine. I think of her simplicity and her cleanliness. I think of her immaculate house with clean sheets. I think of the washcloths she made. I think of her inability to sit still. I think of her amazing vegetable garden. I think of waking up to seiza panna kuche. I think of her smell. I think of how hard she worked. I think of her kitchen, surrounding me with food—always. I think of her soft voice. I think of how much she loved. I think of her little feet. I think of Laurel. I think of her laugh: it was great, like a chuckle. I think of her drinking coffee with Aunt Frida. I think of how she would sneak sweets, even though she wasn’t supposed to, and the face she would make: like a little kid knowingly doing something wrong. I think of the amazing adversity she lived through. I think of how she would take out her teeth before bed. I think about how she was always concerned about her family. I think of how she never complained about anything, ever.
I love my grandma Marie so much, and she makes me proud to be a ________. I am proud of where my family comes from because she was such a model of goodness. I will always carry these things with me.
YEARS FROM NOW
Too far away to see your face
As you flip through these poems a while,
Somewhere from some far off place,
I hear you laughing—and I smile.
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