Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Great memory of a Great Grandmother

My Great Grandma and Grandpa on their 60th Wedding anniversary. I was three years old. She died when I was 7. I didn't realize I had such a great memory from such a young age, until I went to find a picture of her. I soon discovered that our walks together had to be when I was five or six years old.
(In my calling at church I occasionally have to give a little Presidency message to the women of our congregation. Being that this has been on my mind this week, I thought I would share it with you too.)

As a little girl my Great Grandmother Esther Johnson and I would take walks around the neighborhood together. She was well into her late 80’s and was experiencing dementia. I remember my parents telling me to just listen if she began to repeat something she had told me before, and that is exactly what I would do.
Hand in hand we would walk; she adorned in one of her many flowered aprons, me happy to be along for the walk.
During our walks over and over again, she would repeat one of her favorite poems.
Come Little Leaves

"Come, little leaves,"
Said the wind one day.
"Come down to the meadow
And we shall play.
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold,
For summer is past
And the days grow cold."

As soon as the leaves
Heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering,
One and all.
Over the meadow
They danced and flew,
All singing the soft
Little songs that they knew.

Cricket, good-bye, we've been friends so long;
Little brook, sing us your farewell song-
Say you're sorry to see us go;
Ah! you are sorry, right well we know.

Dear little lambs, in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
Fondly we've watched you in vale and glade;
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?

Dancing and leaping
The leaves went along,
Until winter called them
To end their sweet song.
Soon, fast asleep
In their earthy beds,
The snow lay a coverlet
Over their heads.
By: George Cooper

I would walk and listen, never interrupting or reminding her that she had just told it to me ten minutes ago. I would listen as she rehearsed the words, images of dancing leaves in fall gowns would dance through my head. I would envision myself twirling in a golden gown of leaves.

Each fall as the air turns crisp and I see the first leaves fall, I remember the verse, and more importantly I remember my Grandmother. I can still hear her words and smell her dress. Fall fills me with a reminder of her, and all of the wonderful women who have graced this world before me, each of whom have left this world into the rest of God. I too can sense the desire to dance in meadows of life, singing a sweet song, until just like winter, God calls me home.

( I should note that I generally do not remember the poem in it's entirety...I had to look it up. But I generally remember the first, second and fifth verse. )


Suzie-Q said...

That is so sweet. I think it is so cool that you even remember that poem from so long ago. What wonderful memories you must have every fall.
Thanks for sharing.

Blake and Maren said...

What fond memories. I am suprised you remembered the poem. She must have told it to you a lot.

Jen said...

what a sweet memory. and a great poem. :)

JoAnna said...

Thank you so much for posting this. There are so many times that I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet great grandma. This helps me to know a little bit more about this wonderful woman. Thank you again so much for sharing.

Love ya