My Grandmother Lives in Me

My Grandmother Lives in Me

When I was a child, my grandmother’s hands
baked cookies and taught me to sew.
She drew clowns and read stories and took me for walks,
and she’s still with me now as I grow.

And I feel her nimble fingers in mine
when I work with a needle and thread.
And I still smell my grandmother’s kitchen
when I am baking a loaf of bread.

And yet I used to tease my grandma
when I noticed to my great dismay
that she was old-fashioned,
and tended her husband,
and I’d never do it that way.

But the older I get, the deeper I grow,
I embrace what I once was afraid of:
Commitment forever, and love and respect,
all the values my grandmother’s made of.

And my grandparents’ marriage has echoes in ours,
for I married a man who can dance!
When he waltzes me round,
when my feet leave the ground,
we’re connected to their romance.

I have tended to think I am different,
but I’m more and more coming to see:
Though our marriage is different,
our love is like theirs,
and my grandmother lives in me.

And when I am searching for something to cling to,
when difficult thoughts fill my head,
when I find myself longing for someone to sing to,
I think of these words that my grandmother said:
“When my husband died, I walked in the hills
each day as I always do,
and I asked the good Lord
what his plan was for me,
and his message came, quiet and true:

‘There are others who need you,
your work is not done,
you still have so much to give.’”
So she walked through her grief
offered others relief
and she learned once again how to live.

I admire the way that my grandmother’s faith
sustains her and carries her through
the hardships she meets face-to-face, full of grace,
the love that informs her view.

And I sing as I walk with my dogs every day,
for singing’s the way that I pray,
and I know that she’s walking her dog in the hills,
and she’s with me, though I’m far away.

I have tended to think I am different,
but I’m more and more coming to see:
Though my God may be different,
my faith is like hers,
and my grandmother lives in me.

And a part of me feels like an old-fashioned girl,
and it gives me great pleasure to know
that my grandmother’s values and love live in me,
and my faith will continue to grow.

I have tended to think I am different,
but I’m grateful each time I see:
Though in some ways I’m different,
I’m also like her,
and my grandmother lives in me.

© 2000 Emily Melcher