She was a gentle, kind lady with soft mink colored hair and lavender blue eyes that danced with laughter when I did the least funny thing. She loved me, and I knew it without any shadow of a doubt. With her, I could do no wrong, and that set my heart free at a time when I needed it most.
To me, she was a safe place I could count on as a 5 year old, and for the rest of my life, until she died when I was a mother with nearly grown children. There was never a day in her life that she wouldn't have given me anything she owed, could beg, borrow or steal.
Grandmother worked full time, on her feet all day at a difficult job, but she took time on her weekends to spend with a lonely child who had no siblings and no parents to care for her during the week. I lived with my other, paternal grandmother (who was strict, staunch and Methodist! LOL), and dear uncle. My father was away in a hospital, and my mother had taken my younger, baby sister with her to a bigger city to try to make a new life without us. It was a strange thing to be a child alone like that in the early 1950's. Grandmother Pearl tried to make our few weekends together seem like fairy tale times.
My Grandmother Pearl was like a radiant angel, to me. She shone a light in my dark times, bringing me the only crayons, paints and coloring books I would ever have to play with, a live chick dyed pink at Easter, and stacks of Little Golden Books. She started me out feeling that coloring and drawing and reading were safe places to be and to work within. Look what happened to me as a result of all that!
When I found out her name was just like a beautiful piece of jewelry...I knew that's why they named her Pearl. She was a perfect treasure to me.
On her death bed, when I flew down to NC to see her, I didn't think she would remember me or be able to recognize me. She wasn't able to do that anymore for so many people, even my mother, her only child. But when I came into her room and my mother asked her if she knew who I was, Grandmother sat up and said just two words that will remain in my heart forever, "Precious Debi."
Now, many years after she's gone, one of my grandchildren was given Pearl as her middle name. My only daughter, Jessica, and I laugh at that, in joy. Grandmother would love it! And, so the "pearl necklace" goes on....
So, as we approach this Mother's Day, and I think about the mothers in my life, I first want to honor my Grandmother Pearl.
I want to give her the first pearl on my Mother's Day Necklace...
Do you have a grandmother you want to honor? What did she do that you remember most? :]