The anniversary of my mother's death occurred a few weeks ago, and I think G/Son had heard his 'rents mention it. He and Son were over eating crabs on my porch while DiL was at a conference, and G/Son asked me about it, saying, "Nonna, were you there in the hospital when my great grandma died, before I was born?" And I said, "No, I wasn't there." G/Son said, "My Mommy was there, instead, holding her hand." I said, "She was. Your Mommy is very kind, isn't she?" and G/Son nodded seriously.
A few days later, I was driving him home and he said, "Nonna, is your Nonna dead?" and I said, "Yes, my Nonna lived to be almost a hundred, but then her heart got tired out and quit beating, so she went to the Summerlands." G/Son said, "The same Summerlands as your cat?" and I had to laugh because my grandma really hated cats. But Miss Thing always reminded me a lot of my grandma.
Somehow, I started telling G/Son what I remember about my grandma: that she cut out tons of paper dolls for me when I was little, played the organ for her Methodist church, grew African violets like nobody's business, made delicious lemon meringue pie and a kind of candy called divinity, taught me how to sew, and sewed me a flannel nightgown every year for xmas, to keep me warm.
G/Son said, "Just like you make me sweaters to keep me warm."
I said, "That's right. I think it just makes Nonnas feel good to think about our grandchildren being warm." Then, I said, "What I believe is that whatever is remembered, does not die, so I like to get a chance to remember my Nonna with you. Maybe even after I've gone to the Summerlands, you can remember my Nonna wanting to keep me warm."
G/Son said, "Why you think what is remembered does not die?" and I said, "Well, it feels to me as if, as long as people remember some good things about you, in some way, you are still here. When I remember my Nonna making pies and growing violets and making me nightgowns, it feels to me a little bit as if part of her is still alive in my memory."
I have a lot of good times with this kid. He's got an old, old soul.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."