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Once Upon a Family Swing
By Tina E Millner
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
This story is about a family. A family type that some of us are fortunate to have and a story about a family that some of wish we had. Most of all it is a story about family love.
A long time ago, there was a family,
Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather,
Sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins
All lived happily within the family unit.
Grandfather’s nights were spent in his workshop,
Making toys for the children, and cabinets for his wife
During the day, in the fields or taking care of the farm animals.
Grandmother would take care of the home and cook delicious dinners
The family would gather together at the old homestead.
Celebrations of holidays, meat in the oven, vegetables on the stove
Children playing happily with the toys from Grandfather’s workshop
Grandmother proudly showing off her new cabinets made by her husband’s hands.
Sunday’s were the best as that day was set aside as a “Special Day”.
Each grandchild and cousin took turns spending the day alone at the homestead.
After dinner, the boys would go off with grandfather to do what ever grandfather’s and boys do.
The girls would be in the kitchen being taught by Grandmother how to bake the wonderful pastries that were served after supper.
When all was finished , cleaning completed, Grandmother would take me by my hand,
“Come child” she would say, “Let us go rest and talk a while”.
In good weather we would sit on the swing, overlooking the fields of plenty,
If the weather was bad, we would sit in her cozy parlor in front of the fireplace.
“Listen to this old lady while I tell you of days long past.
Days when I was young, how things were then, how I met your Grandfather,
How we had to walk two miles to school with snow past our waist.
Did I ever tell you about the time when we had but one cow and six chickens?”
“Yes, Grandma, you told me all these things several times before”
I saw the hurt look in her eyes, but I want on, “I want to talk about me and what is going on in my life”.
I want to talk about my friends, my school , my music, my dreams”
“Well of course dear” she said, I have been very selfish”
I started to tell this precious woman about my life, what was important to me.
As I went on talking I noticed her change of expressions, but she held her thoughts to herself.
I am not sure at which point the hammer hit my head, but suddenly I realized
these are stories I should be telling my grandchildren, not my grandmother.
I suddenly stopped talking in mid sentence, got up and gave Grandma a kiss of love and a hug of understanding.
I sat back down and saw the look of puzzlement on her sweet wrinkled face.
“Grandma”, I said,” please tell me about your mother and father, where they came from, what they did. And when did you and Grandpa get the pigs?”
“Would I have loved them as much as I love you? Would they have loved me as much as you and Grandpa do?”
Grandma talked on and on about her parents and siblings, but not long enough, for there was much to tell.
I was enthralled by her memories, by her family, and I understood where her strong love came from.
I understood why the family wanted to spend as much time as possible with this old couple.
I understood why I had this feeling of being in a cocoon of love.
Three nights later, Mother woke us all up telling us there will be a family meeting in the parlor.
We thought it strange until we walked in and saw Grandfather there, alone, without Grandma.
We did not have to be told….we knew. Grandma was with her parents, siblings and her God.
Lord knows, we miss her so, and it is sad to see Grandpa go to visit her grave daily and come back with eyes wet and red.
As the months passed, we moved into the old farm house . It took a while to get used to Grandma not being there.
I could not bring myself to sit on Grandma’s swing as I considered it sacred.
I would sit on the steps, my arms enfolding my legs, remembering….
I could feel Grandma, I could see Grandma sitting in the swing, smiling that warm smile of hers.
One cool fall evening as Grandpa was sitting on the swing, smoking his pipe and reflecting on days past,
I walked quietly up to him and asked if I could join him. He smiled a soft smile and patted the swing seat next to him.
I sat quiet for a while and then said, “She is here isn’t she Grandpa”
He smiled and nodded. “Grandpa”, I asked,”Can this swing be mine someday?
“Why on earth would you want this old squeaky swing? I made this for your Grandma when we first married.”
“So I can swing and tell my grandchildren about Grandma and you and because it is special as you did make it for her.”
“Of course you can child, of course you can.” I will repair some of these old boards so it will be strong again.”
“Grandpa,” I continued, “Please tell me stories about when you were growing up”.
Years later, as I sit on this old swing, watching my children play in the yard ,I think about the old homestead which is no longer.
The memories are forever, time can not erase not even the tiniest.
I think about the days when I will sit here on Grandma’s swing and tell my children and grandchildren about the cocoon of love.
Material things will disappear over time, but never love, memories nor this family swing.
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|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Sounds like a wonderful family - excellent write.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Lovely story, Tina; wish all people could have a family such as this. Wonderful writing; brava!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Linda Meckler
|That was a very sweet story. Many children today do not have this kind of family unit or this kind of love. Your memories are precious.