Missing Grandma

I think there’s a family of cardinals living in one of the trees in the backyard.  I can hear them and I occasionally see a flash of brilliant red traveling through the leaves near the top of the tree furthest from the house.

My love of cardinals began as an homage to my grandmother.  I discovered, after she had died, that she loved cardinals.  I remember being in her house and can still see in my mind’s eye the birds everywhere: figurines and pictures.  I don’t remember noticing cardinals taking any kind of center stage, they were mixed in with all the others.  It wasn’t until after she died that I saw how deep her love for cardinals actually was: I have a stained glass cardinal sun catcher that was her’s as well as several pieces of her Native American jewelry, all with red coral inlay in the form of cardinals.

Jewelry with cardinals on it.  Now that’s love!

Do you think passion for a certain kind of bird is genetic?  I purchased a cardinal beanie baby shortly after her death, but I don’t recall knowing whether or not cardinals were her favorite bird when I bought it.   I think of her each time I come across one of my little cardinals, whether inside or outside the house, and I remember her.

Hub met her only once.  He’ll tell you that even though he only met her that one time, he loved her.  He loved both my grandmothers and I loved his.

My other grandmother, Mum’s mom, died a few years back.  I don’t have any specific momentos that remind me of her.  But I miss her, too.  She would never let me pay for anything when I’d go visit her; she insisted on cooking everything and paying for everything when we would walk the few blocks from her home to the store.  I know where I get my stubbornness from. 🙂

I was able to visit her more as an adult than I did Da’s mom simply because we lived closer.  I’d have loved to live closer to both my grandmothers but the military didn’t allow that.

I wish my niece and nephews lived closer to my parents.  The youngest generation of my family doesn’t realize the blessing they have: both the pilot’s and the colonel’s parents and in-laws live in the same area code yet both of my brothers, again because of the military and their jobs, live about as far away as a family can live from each other and still live on the same continent.

Will all of my clan ever live near each other?


The youngest generation doesn’t know what they’re missing.

Celebrating Mum & Da's 50th wedding anniversary ~ July 2010, Paia, Hawaii

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