Thursday, November 4, 2010

apples

i kept the name of this blog for a long time to myself....kept it close to my heart. though in the early days, i wasn't sure what it meant and what i should do with it. i repeated it over and over for months....maybe over a year. i'm not exactly sure when it first came to me. i think i may have dreamt it. or was it whispered in my ear? then i began to turn it over again and again. and i realized it was something.

well, i'm going to break this post into more bite-size pieces.

the apples part is multi-layered.

for me, apples are a symbol. what do you think of?

me?

i think of lots of things, but mostly i think of my grandma. my grandma had the most generous spirit i've ever known. and when i think of the life she had, i have to wonder where that generosity of spirit came from.

i think of the first time i cut myself cooking was with her. making apple pies.
i think of the canned applesauce with cinnamon that she and my gramps would make each fall.

i think of her baked and fried apples.

years ago, the fall after my dear gramps died, my gram was living alone in an assisted living apartment not far from our little place. she had a teeny-tiny kitchen with a one-burner cooktop. most of her meals were in the community dining room--she was an amazing cook (i know *amazing* gets overused....but i'm not sure any other word works here)
the food in the dining room was tolerable. not awful, but not great. she never complained and would always find something to compliment. ::bless her::
i was having a family dinner at our home. big red picked up gram, who had a big tupperware bowl of fried apples in tow. she had helped herself to a few apples at a time from the fruit bowl in the apartment lobby for days. she had plenty of sugar packets (at one time, i think all grandmas had lots of sugar packets). she saved the butter pads at each meal. so, with a little cinnamon from her own tiny cupboard had made sticky caramel-y fried apples to share with us--potluck style.
after dinner, there was a little bit of fried apple left. she carefully slid them into a smaller container and placed them in my fridge.

a couple days later i chatted with her on the phone, i had just returned from getting a christmas photo of our oldest(then only 2 1/2 years). we talked about regular stuff, but she told me her vision had returned.

hold the horses.

my grandma had lost vision in one eye years ago, following the delivery of a stillborn baby boy in 1949. she had surgery in 1980, but that had not been successful.

my parents were at her place when i had called so i kept the conversation short.

early the next morning my mom called from the hospital--i should come right away. but, it was too late. grandma had died--a heart attack.

(this is where i always cry....still. 14 years later)
after coming home from the hospital where they pronounced her dead and where i last stroked her soft soft soft pale grey hair, i opened the fridge. there in the back was the little bowl of apples.
i ate them slowly. crying.



best
deborah

13 comments:

  1. I think there is no greater gift than the love of a grandmother. Thank you for sharing a your memories. I can't think of a better tribute to her than a small bowl of fried apples.

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  2. Oh, Deborah, this is heartfelt and poignant and a good read. It made me want to give you a big hug. What a grand person your grandma was! It's wonderful to know such people, and good to have those memories, even if they make you cry. I know she has helped to shape the person that you are. I will look at apples a little differently now.

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  3. What a perfect recounting. I had a grandmother like that though we didn't see her nearly often enough. Thank you for the reminder of her...

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  4. Awe, God Bless your Grandma and God Bless you for sharing such an intimate piece of your life with us. It is these exact memories of our loved ones that make life what it is.

    I wish I could just hug you - again!

    xoxo

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  5. beautiful and precious memories. thank you for sharing them.

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  6. Thanks Deborah--you always tug at my heartstrings. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandmother and your love for her shines through.

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  7. Love love love this. Will spend the rest of my day thinking of my Nana. She was also a sugar packet/cube kinda of a chick. Told us she had 3 tsp in her tea but if she thought no one was looking she'd throw another 2 in. Your grandma and my nana would have been great pals, I know it:)

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  8. Oh so sweet, the container of apples made me teary, how sweet. Thanks for sharing! I'm a new follower from Happy Loves Rosie. So happy to have found you. Hope you can stop by my blog for a visit. If you like it I'd love for you to follow me.

    http://1funkywoman.blogspot.com

    Megan

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  9. Glad you hopped over! What weird things do we have in common, I so wanna know. I love that, do tell!

    Megan

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  10. Is that your panana? She's cute!

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  11. This is really, really a beautiful story. Really.

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