GrandmotherWhen I think back over my lifetime of the people who have really influenced me, my paternal grandmother is at the top. What made her such a powerful influence on me? Her love and her never-ending sense of cheer. I simply can’t recall ever seeing my grandmother angry. Ever. Even when someone broke into their home and stole about 20 hand-sewn blankets from her closet. That’s all they took — the blankets. Probably to sell at a flea market.

I was devastated! Some of those blankets were to be mine! All my life she had been telling me those blankets would help me remember her after she was gone — as if remembering her was going to be an issue. My Mama Gladys’ reaction? She said who ever took them must have needed them more than she did.

That is the woman my grandmother was and I’m so grateful to have experienced her love, generosity, and wisdom. (Those Harlequin Romance novels she started slipping me by the age of nine were a major influence too!)

In memory of my grandmother, I’m sharing a poem I wrote for her almost twenty years ago. Enjoy!

When I think of you

Whenever I see a rose

I think of you.

Colorful petals standing out

against a throne of green

fit for a queen,

it always seems

I think of you.

Whenever I see a mimosa tree

I think of you.

Delicate fronds gently swing

in the scented breeze

beetles on strings,

it always seems

I think of you.

Whenever I see a porch swing

I think of you.

And of Gramps and the land

where our memories lay

songs we sang in the good ‘ole days,

it just seems

I think of you.

Sheila Callaham is an author and life coach living in Chapel Hill, NC. 

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