Remembering my mom-mom

{On the boardwalk, year unknown}

My grandparents lived on the same block as me in Kensington. I grew up with my mom-mom just steps away, and took advantage of this fact often. There were many, many sleep-overs, days spent making cookies, craft days, and just hanging out with my favorite person days.

Kay Kelley was everything a mom-mom should be: kind, creative, soft and cuddly, always ready for a cuddle. I could do nothing wrong in her eyes {isn't that what grandparents are for?}. I remember getting big boxes of art supplies from her for Christmas and birthdays. In my mind, she is the reason I pursued art as a career.

Mom-mom passed away 24 years ago today. I was 14 years old. She had leukemia for years, and was even in remission for a while. I still can't believe she's been gone longer than I knew her. She had a huge impact on my life, and I can't help but think of her when I see little girls and their grandmoms. Malayna is lucky that she has a mom-mom like I had.

I wrote this poem about her in a creative writing class I took in college.


The photograph is from the Christmas
before she got sick.
She looks so happy, so healthy.
I am beside her, her first grandchild,
hugging her hips,
a small brown-haired girl of about seven.
Her tanned freckled arms
is around my small shoulders,
pulling me close to her.

She would dance
around the room
holding me in her arms.
We would sing together,
not caring who heard,
loving each other's company.

We would go shopping together
to the junk store
to buy styrofoam balls
and glitter and sequins.
To Woolworth's
for hot dogs with ketchup
and chocolate cokes.
We would color in books
full of princesses and fantasy lands.

I can still feel the warmth
of her arms around me,
rocking me to sleep
my head resting on her breast.
She would sing softly,
"hold me, hold me
never let me go
because I love you, love you."

I would draw her pictures,
of rainbows and sunshine
and she would hang them
in her kitchen
to brighten her long, sick days.

For fourteen years
she was my best friend, my life.
I still think of her everyday,
and sometimes I even talk to her
knowing, somehow that she can hear me.


daisyjanie said...

That is very, very nice, Lisa! You have 2 sweet inspirations in your life! Priceless to have those memories.

My mom just sent me a bunch of old photos of my grandma and her w/ stories to go along with them. I'll probably post about them in the near future.

How's the job??

Brie said...

I am sobbing here Lisa. That was the sweetest thing ever. I miss my gramma so much too, aren't we lucky to have had them as long as we did? Thanks for this :)

Plays With Mud said...

so very touching ...