The Gift of Time

 When I was little, we would often go and visit my grandparents in Morgan.  My great-grandmother lived about a block away, in the basement of my second-cousin’s house.  My cousin and I would play together, and then when we got too hot or tired, we’d creep downstairs to visit Grandma Kygar.

Her home was cool and comfortable.  She had a beautiful table covered in family photos, and a row of booties that she had crocheted in a line, waiting for the next baby to be born.

Across the room stood her buffet, and on it was a beautiful anniversary clock with roses scalloped around the numbers.  The balls that hung below the face would rotate first one direction and then the other.  It was so beautiful, and I was fascinated by it.  It made Grandma’s house seem somehow magical.

Grandma sat next to her buffet in her rocking chair.  She would hold one grandchild on her lap, and the rest of us would gather around her feet as she told us stories and sang us songs.  She would thread a needle for my cousin and I, and we would “sew” on her little braided rug footstool as we listened.

When Grandma passed away, there was the usual fuss over who would inherit her belongings.  My grandmother was able to keep her mother’s clock, and even the old footstool that wasn’t worth much.  She always wondered what the threads and stitches were, until I saw it one day and told her about our afternoons sewing at Grandma’s feet.  I was moved when it was presented to me on my wedding day, an heirloom gift that I cherish.

Others enjoy the beautiful furniture, the lovely clock, the photos and other treasures from Grandma’s home.  They don’t know that I received the best treasure of all.  The little footstool with its threads and knots is a constant reminder to me of the love of a great-grandmother who had nothing to give us but her time and attention, and proved that time and attention are the best gifts of all.

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