My great-grandmother had impeccable tastes.
She always dressed herself as neat as a pin. Her skirts were just so. Her hair was always in perfect place. I remember sitting in her farm house as a tiny little girl, in awe of her perfectly smooth beds and pretty glasses and china.
Her name was Blossom Madaline. She was full of energy. Lively and always up to something, she made me laugh. She sent me books once, and I was in heaven.
We grew up a few thousand miles away from Great Grandma and her orchards. But once she and her friends made a great adventure up to Alaska and she came to visit us. I still remember the sparkle in her eyes as she unveiled the gift she brought us–two big boxes of Bartlett pears, fresh picked from the tree. She’d “smuggled” them across the Canadian boarder to get them to us. Since fresh fruit cost something of a premium in Alaska back then, and often tasted about as good as cardboard, we devoured them like starving kittens. And then, though well into her 70s, she climbed up a steep hill with us to get a view of the ocean and have a picnic.
I thought she was the best great grandma in the world.
So when she proposed on my behalf to Scott a few months after we started dating, I knew I must’ve picked a good guy. It happened like this.
I was visiting Scott in Idaho when we got the news that Grandma was in the hospital. She’d had a bad fall. When you’re in your 90s, that’s never a good thing.
It was just a 6 hour drive to where she was, so we packed up and headed straight over. I thanked God all the way that I wasn’t in Alaska where making the trip would have been impossible, or Colorado where it would have taken twice as long. You don’t take anyone you love for granted. Especially not your Great Grandma.
When we got there and into her room, she lit up when she met Scott. She took his hand and pulled him close and said “You will marry her, right?”
Never mind that we’d only been officially dating for a few months, She knew a good guy when she saw one. And what was the reason in beating around the bush? The only answer she would hear of was when Scott leaned over and whispered into her ear “I plan on it!”.
That’s when she got a big grin on her face and said something about red headed great-great-grand babies. Those red headed grandbabies were high on her wishlist.
A few months later, Grandma slipped away. I was heart broken.
She didn’t get to hear the story of how Scott flew in and surprised me with his proposal. She didn’t get that seat of honor I’d envisioned her taking on the front row when I got married.
But when I walked down the aisle, I thought of her and smiled a little. She couldn’t have asked a better man to marry me.
Today thought of her again as I watched that man walk down the driveway holding the tiny hand of our baby girl. Our red headed little munchkin. Just exactly what she’d always wanted.
I smiled to myself. Great Grandma Madaline would have been tickled pink.
In loving memory of Blossom Madaline Hudson, the sweet woman I am honored to call my Great Grandma. 1913-2008