Thinking back tonight about the fragrant memories of the house that built me. To look at it it’s not much, and it may not mean anything to most people but, to me it’s the house that built me. Looking back into my childhood I see how my dear sweet grandmother would care for me, my brother and my sisters with such love in that house. I see her cooking our meals, washing our clothes, taking care of us when we were sick, teaching us to pray, to read the bible and so much more. Grandma Ida always had kids in her house, she was always taking care of someone and that was her mission in life. She loved us kids like no other.
That house holds so much love, faith and pain all at the same time, if that makes sense. You see my Grandfather built the house from a campboat that he had bought, he added on to it and made it a home. He was a fisherman and did not have much money so he used what he had. My grandfather was not the kindest family man, he was an alcoholic and it got the best of him many a day. My grandmother finally got enough of it and they separated. She stayed in the house and as a young man my dad took on the responsibility of the family. He worked hard to pay the bills and help send his younger brother and sister to school, he wanted the best for them.
As a child I lived in the house behind my grandmother, so essentially I had two homes and half the time was spent at each home, sometimes more at grandmother’s. I remember one day my Dad says to me “You don’t live here at Grandma’s” & I replied “well half the time I do because when you and mom are at work this is my home” and he could not argue to that. lol
Ah, after a long day at school I’m walking home and hear grandmother’s sweet voice singing Amazing Grace, among other hymns while she is in the kitchen washing dishes and cooking mashed potatoes and hamburger steaks with gravy. I come in and put my books down and she asks me how my day was and we just talk about everyday things. My sisters and brother would be there laughing and cutting up, watching TV in the living room, such a simpler time…… Grandma always wanted the best for us, she taught us to put our education first, she did the cooking, cleaning, sewing and so on. What she taught us was so much more than an education could give, she taught us value in life, value in friendship, value in keeping your word, taking pride in your work and just all around good ethics. She always told us to treat others the way that we wanted to be treated, to love hard, to pray harder and to NEVER GIVE UP!!
My sister and I used to write songs and sing or try to sing, lol We used to go on about how we were going to be huge singers and make lots of money. Oh, how I wish that were so….we would perform for the others and have a good ole time.
Every night we would read the bible and say prayers with Grandma before bed. Sometimes we would get to laughing and talking and she would have to fuss us to go to sleep but, mostly we laughed and talked till we all drifted off to sleep.
She used to tell us stories of her childhood and our parents childhood, mostly giving us lessons in life and you know I don’t even think she realized just what an impact she had on us as we grew up. She really used to stress that we did not have to take no man beating on us, she always told us that she did because she had no education and she had kids to feed. She did not depend on welfare or anything like that, she was a very proud woman to say the least.
Well I got married and moved on with life and as time came and went, I would visit grandmother less and less. I used to call her when I got off work at night and we would stay on the phone for hours as I cooked supper and cleaned my house, most of the time we talked til it was time for bed. Grandmother aged gracefully for a time then, the roles shifted and she needed us to care for her as we discovered she had Alzeimer’s disease. She could not stay alone any longer so we took turns taking care of her, enjoying her witty personality as much as possible because we knew that each passing day with her was so precious. We were able to keep her home until she went to be with Jesus, and that was her wish. We did everything we could to make her comfortable and give her the proper care that she so well deserved. It was not an easy feat but, God gave us strength to get through it.
Now my husband and I are moving into the house and have discovered some issues of water damage and termites. He is working so hard to fix what he can with what he has and he wants so bad to make things just right. He wants me to be safe, happy and to have a good home. I tell him all the time “It does not have to be perfect, I’m not used to a mansion”. I’m happy with the simple things in life; love, family, friendship and health. I do appreciate all the hard work he is doing and I know he does not understand just how much the “house” means to me. I mean I know it was Grandma’s house and I know things change and things have to be done to the house, and I’m fine with that. It’s just alot to take in all at once. I’ve lost a lot in my life and I will always cherish the fragrant memories of “The house that built me”
All my love to Grandma Ida, my mom, my dad and my brothers & sisters