Thursday, August 23, 2012

mornings with grandma

i only ever knew one grandmother, my mom's mother.  her name was maria, but as small children, we always called her 'babka', which is 'grandma' in ukranian.  she lived with us from the time i was born, until she passed away in 1990 at the age of 68.

i don't have many memories from my early childhood, and those i have are faint.  but my memories of babka are the most vivid, and those i look back upon most fondly.

i was only 10 years old when she passed away, but i remember it like it was yesterday.  she had been ill for many years, and bed-ridden for most of her illness, so it didn't come as a shock.  but to a 10 year old who had experienced a grandmother's love so constant and so pure, it was devastating.

growing up as the oldest of nine siblings in a home where affections weren't openly displayed, there weren't many occasions to feel special or like someones favorite.  but i knew i was special to babka.  she not only told me she loved me, her gentleness and kindness demonstrated that love.  she wanted me by her bedside to read to her from her worn bible, and it was me she would ask to reach under her mattress, pull out her slim wallet, held together by velcro, and take a one dollar bill from it.  and in those moments, it wasn't about the dollar bills; it was about what they represented.  they were all she had, and she wanted to share them with me.  

babka would have been 90 years old this month.

we shared a bond that to this day brings me to tears.  and even though she wasn't in my life for very long, she made a deeper impression on me than any other person ever has.  i feel blessed to have had her in my life, the true reflection of a selfless love and a kind and gentle spirit.

and that is why i'm exceedingly grateful that my sweet baby bud has his grandma sue.  my heart swells to see how much she loves him, her first grand-baby, and i know that his life will so much richer and fuller for having her in it.  there is something so special about a grandma's love, and it fills me with such joy to know that my sweet bud is going to experience that love.


- the only two pictures i have with babka - 

-  a few of the moments captured the other morning when grandma sue came to visit -


Naomi said...

I loved this post. I wish I had known our grandmother that way. I was way too young to barely even remember her. It's sad but my most vivid memory was being happy that I got a new dress for the occasion of her funeral. I wore that same dress for my kindergarten school photo. Kinda sad, huh!

Amber said...

What a heartfelt and thoughtful post, Tabitha! Your Babka sounds so loving. And Ronan sure seems lucky to have his grandma as well. Beautiful, emotive pictures.