Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gimmie Jurl

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.


squider said...


ATLGAL said...

What a great story of your Gimme. I had a Granny Era who was just like your Gimme-- she let us do whatever we wanted and loved us all (25 grandkids) unconditionally and liberally. She was an old school country lady who grew up on a farm, in poverty, as one of 6 kids and worked hard all her life as a cook and a seamstress, in addition to raising 8 kids (she started having kids at age 15 and kept at it for 20 whole years, can you imagine?!?!). She would have been just an ordinary little country lady to strangers, but she was extraordinary to us. She held her family together with a bond that is nearly antiquated by today's standards, she was a true matriarch, but absolutely selfless. Like you, I think of her always, and I cannot believe that my husband and baby never knew her, as she is such a huge part of me. I tell my husband stories about her nearly every day, as everything reminds me of her. My husband never knew his grandparents-- I cannot imagine such a thing, as my Granny and my Pap are as much a part of me as anything I've ever done myself. I loved your story of Gimme, it made me stop and say a prayer for my Granny Era (another one, as my little girl and I say one for her every night before bed). God Bless your Gimme who you know is in heaven watching you and is proud of you!

jurl said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Also crying buckets.....she was my hero. I think she was all us girls' hero. Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Oh, this one really hit home. My Oumie sounds like your Gimmie. She used to say she had a heart as big as a shack. There was nothing like a consoling hug from Oumie. Even today, almost ten years after she has been gone, I hold her as the epitome of grace, elegance, warmth, and unconditional love. I can only hope and pray that I achieve a small measure of her greatness as a person.