Something about this time of year really pulls me back to previous fall and winter seasons. Is it the changing leaves…
or the smell of cinnamon…
or peppermint ice cream??
Let’s go with the peppermint ice cream. That’s what started the whole sentimental process for me a few days ago. Peppermint ice cream is something that I immediately associate with my paternal grandparents. Every Christmas, peppermint ice cream was a dessert option. I remember Grandma letting the ice cream dipper warm up in hot water before asking one of the male cousins to do the scooping. It makes me think of how my Grandfather always wanted us to get dessert- at a restaurant, at home- wherev. He just wanted his family to have dessert. At a restaurant, he would go around the table and ask us by name what we wanted. “Katrinka, what will you have for dessert?” Is that not every kid’s dream?!
And then I get sad. Sad thinking about how those memories are in the past and how there will not be any more happy memories like that from my Dad’s parents. The leaves rumble and take me back to winter 2005, the year that my grandmother died. I was at Radford and there was a blizzard and it was finals week. Mom calls me and tells me that she and Morgan are coming to visit me (what the what?!) and to help me pack up my Radford stuff. Strange…my family is into hyper organized and planned visits. A visit out the blue was quite unexpected. So Mom and Morgan get to my dorm room, close the door, and Morgan’s eyes start to well with tears before Mom even starts talking. She tells me that Grandma died (she had already had surgery, she died after a week of recovery) and that they were there to help me take stuff to Bluefield (I was transferring after Christmas) and to help pack me up to go to the valley for her funeral. I remember sitting on the mattress on the floor in my freezing dorm room trying to take my last final online at midnight while all of this was going on. Not a good time…we left the next day, all my stuff in tow, to head into a tragic Christmas break.
All of that makes me think of my last visit with Grandma before she died. It was post-surgery. Adam had brought me to the hospital (I didn’t have a car) and she got to meet Adam and her last words to me were, “I love you.” Can you beat those last words? I think not.
And as depressing as all of that is, I can’t help but think of how God really does know what He is doing. Grandma made it through her surgery just fine and was in the process of recovering when she passed. It was weird. Why in that order?? It just proves that when it is your time, it’s your time. God knows what he is doing. Grandaddy now resides on the Alzheimer’s floor at a retirement home. He doesn’t always remember that Grandma is dead and she never had to see him this out of it. Grandaddy will tell us that Grandma will be joining us for “supper” or has run to the store and will return shortly. God is a merciful god because Grandaddy doesn’t remember that he has lost the love of his life.
Amazing how much stuff some peppermint ice cream can bring back, eh?