Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Today would have been my Grandma Esway's 111th birthday.

I wouldn't have even known it was her birthday except for the fact that I realized recently that since I've moved, the few photos that I have of her haven't resurfaced yet. So I asked my parents to scan a photo and send it to me. And it happened that the photo that my Mom sent happened to be a photo of her on her birthday (which, coincidentally, also features a roughly three year old me, sitting there right next to her!), and Mom also pointed out that her birthday is today. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

I still miss her and wish that I could have known her better. I bet my parents and all of her children and grandchildren still miss her too. I've been thinking a lot about how we are never really ready to say goodbye to those we love. I've been thinking a lot about how I wish I could have known her better, and for that matter, my Grandpa Esway, who died when I was young enough not to be able to remember much of him - and both of my grandparents on my Mom's side too, whom I remember but wish that I had known so much better than I did.

I was very inspired recently by my friend Taralinda's recent posting about Dia de los Muertos, aka the Day of the Dead - a time to honor our ancestors. So I am taking this moment to honor my grandparents and thank them for everything they sacrificed so that I can be sitting right here, right now, writing these words.

My Grandma Esway married very young and most certainly lived a difficult life - the likes of which I can only imagine. She never had a fraction of the choices or options that someone like me has today, and she never had much money, but somehow, whenever I was with her, I felt like the richest person who ever lived. And despite whatever material items she may have lacked, she definitely helped to inspire my love of food and feeding people and reveling in the kitchen. And I seriously think of her and give thanks for her every time I use her cast iron skillet, which is practically every time I cook. And I know that no matter what I make in that skillet, there is always a little of her magic in it, and a little of her love, which no doubt makes everything that comes out of it taste that much more delightful.

So Happy Birthday, Grandma. Thanks for the inspiration.


Alison said...

Val, that is so sweet. Happy 111th b-day, Grandma Esway! I agree, there's a little magic in the cast iron skillet you cook with.

Soup and Song said...

Thanks, Alison! Come over so I can cook for you soon! And bring that sweet new dog friend of yours... can't wait to meet her!