my childhood Easters always, always,
meant a new dress.
it might have been home-sewn by momma,
or sometimes i got a store-bought dress.
but always a new dress.
and new sunday shoes.
once in a while a hat and gloves, too.
in spring of 1969 my paternal grandma was
in the hospital very very sick.
this was when children under 12 years
weren't allowed in to see patients.
since i had the gift of living next
door to her on the farm,
i really missed her
and desperately wanted to see her.
my folks even checked to see if an
exception could be made.
but we were told no.
mom suggested i write grandma a letter.
i didn't know what to say.
mom suggested i tell her about my new easter dress.
it was a store bought one that year.
so i did describing the dropped waist,
the row of pintucks down the front
embellished with small pink embroidered flowers.
then i even drew a picture of it.
i can remember standing outside on the
back side of the county hospital
desperately trying to see my tiny
little grandma through the screens
on her hospital window.
i could only see a blur, but
was assured by one and all
grandma could see me.
they told me she got my letter
and liked the dress.
it sounded real nice.
grandma never got to see the dress.
i did wear it for Easter
but i also wore it for her funeral.
momma agreed with me it
was just fine to wear a pretty pink
dress and that grandma would have
liked the fact i was wearing my best
fast forward 42 years.
my sweet momma is lying in a bed,
waiting for Jesus to take her home.
the tumors in her brain have compromised
her memory a bit, but some things she could
still pull out from long ago.
we'd been chatting about a myriad of things.
and then she said, "i remember a dress you had.
you wrote a letter to tell grandma b about it."
i smiled big replying
"you're right i did."
we talked about what the dress looked like.
momma's memory was fuzzy,
but once i described it, she said she
knew which one it was.
we agreed it was one of our favorites.
interestingly enough i mentioned
"i recently found that letter in your desk
mom. i was surprised."
she just lay there, her eyes far away and smiled.
she had kept it all those years.
happy Easter to my much loved momma
and my darling grandma valentine.
two precious women who gave me love.
i miss them more than words can say.