“Wouldn’t it be nice to have Christmas at Granny Hulsey’s?” Denny told Uncle Clisby. The comment ignited sparks in Clisby’s head as he hustled the family to rejuvenate the old farm house by extensive cleaning and a garage sale. According to Cousin Dick it wasn’t really a sale. “People were taking truckloads for $50.00. And, we were asking them to take more,” he laughed.
Granny Fordham passed away in 2004 but the house had been abandoned for years before due to her Alzheimer’s. Making Denny’s wish come true required a lot of love, a lot of time, and a lot of effort.
It was special to share my husband’s family Christmas at the old house, full of nostalgia, laughter, and life. Sitting there, I could only imagine the Christmas’ of years past. I could see Granny Hulsey smiling as I could feel the warmth of her spirit wrapped around each person there.
The aged drapes, tired carpet, and doddering furniture seemed to glow despite the years of neglect.
Upon all the children opening their gifts from under the small, runty, teensy tree unearthed from storage, there were two equal-sized, wrapped gift boxes.
“Denny…Brian” someone called, “these are for you.” Bullets of sweat began to bead on my husband’s forehead. He prepared for the embarressment he anticipated. ”I feel a practical joke hovering,” Brian whispered. Handed the gifts at the same time, they opened the boxes simultaneously.
The lifted top exposed a clear plastic bag with a blanket of brown and mustard crotchet. A little piece of paper was on top. The boys opened the paper that said:
Dear Brian, Dear Denny:
I crocheted this afgan and pillow as a gift for your wedding. Wishing you the best life ever.
Much love, Granny Jane
Brian’s voice quivered as he read the note aloud. Without a dry eye in the room, you could not help but feel the presence and the love of Granny Jane. She was there, hugging everyone, loving everyone, and shining on everyone.
“Merry Christmas,” she whispered.
Without her voice-less prompting & without her gentle touching, Denny would have never suggested the locale. While Clisby and family wouldn’t have cheerfully decorated the place, and the gifts would have remained hidden and concealed (possibly destroyed by varments).
Granny Jane just works that way.
Even after her life on earth she is STILL full of surprises and acts of kindness.
*Photography compliments of Traci Fordham