Tonight I made a chocolate cake with my daughter. She helped pour the milk, crack the eggs, and stir in the cake mix. There was almost as much chocolate on her face as in the bowl.
Watching her lick the spatula and stick her fingers in the icing I was reminded of when I was a little girl in my grandmother's kitchen licking my own spatula clean.
We called my grandmother Gimmie because she gave us whatever we asked for. My grandmother was like a cantankerous fairy godmother-out of thin air she would produce your favorite dessert then chase you with a fly swatter for talking back. She made us laugh and she championed our every endeavor. When we had boy trouble she was always on our side and if someone dare cross one of her granddaughters she would attack like a Green Beret. All 90 pounds of her. She showed us what it meant to love others more than you love yourself. She gave us so much more than we could have asked for and in return we worshiped her.
Next to my mother she was the person I was closest to in this world and her death, almost twelve years ago, took my breath away. I can honestly say it hurt every bit as much as I had anticipated. I had spent many nights praying that God would give me just a little longer with her because I needed her. I couldn't imagine a me without her. Sometimes I still can't. But, life moves on and eventually I moved with it. Law school, marriage, children. I often forget she never met my husband. It seems impossible he would not know her. It seems tragic she did not live to see my children.
I am constantly reminded of her-even more so now that I have children of my own. I try to do things with them that she did with us-baking cakes, singing songs, playing games. And I try to love others more than I love myself.
My grandmother was a stay-at-home mom. She was not famous or rich. She was just a woman that lived a small life in a big way. And she left her fingerprints on my soul. What greater accomplishment in life than to leave a legacy of love?
I hope one day Sam will be making a cake with her daughter and remember the smell of our kitchen. Remember how I let her pour the ingredients and lick the bowl. Such a small thing, such a huge impact. May God grant me the ability to leave one joyous fingerprint on her little soul. May God grant all of us a legacy of love.