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picking violets

by H. H. Lynn

By Heather HublerPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
In dedication to June Louise, my grandma

I miss you, grandma. I miss you all the time.

I wish I had the chance to truly thank you for all that you did for me growing up.

I wish I could tell you all about the things that have happened to me since you've been gone.

I wish you could've been at my wedding, see me graduate from college. I wish you could've known your great-grandchildren, and they could've known you.

I want more than anything to curl up in your arms again and let myself feel safe while you sing to me and hush away my fears.

My sweet grandma

It's hard writing this to you. I've had to start and stop so many times because the memories and reminders of you are so very bittersweet. I've cried and laughed reminiscing about all of our times together. And I've simply sat in quiet reflection just thinking about your impact on my life.

I've come to appreciate more and more how you were such a big part of making me feel confident, curious, and creative. You nurtured those things in me by modeling them yourself. You showed me how to live life with a quiet humility and joy.

Your steadfast love always boosted me up and made me feel strong. I knew what real love looked like at a young age because of you.

I know I was a handful. I know you may not have always felt like watching me, but you never made me feel that way. Every moment you spent with me, every kindness you showed, my young heart soaked up like a sponge, storing those feelings away for when I was alone again.

We watched so many musicals together, listened to records, watched Shirley Temple and Lawrence Welk. You were always singing to me or humming while you worked. Those moments have stayed with me my whole life, and I've carried your love of music and song so that I could pass it along to my children. I sang the same lullabies to them that you did to me.

We baked together and made so many cookies. I have bags and bags of your cookie cutters that your great-grandchildren and I use at the holidays. I make sure to tell them all about you in those times we spend decorating and rolling out dough.

Just a small handful of all the cookie cutters she had

We spent so much time outdoors having picnics, playing hide and seek, picking wild violets in the field behind your house, and hanging laundry–I had my own little line that I got to dry tea towels on. They were such simple things to do, but left such a lasting joy in my heart.

We played so many board games together that taught me about thinking and spending time together. If you saw my collection now, you'd see how much I brought that into my own family. We have stacks and stacks of board games!

No matter how many times I played Beautiful Dreamer on the mini organ in your basement, or how many times I hid under a blanket while you did your chores and made you guess what I was pretending to be, you always listened. You never ignored me. You made me feel seen.

I had no siblings, my parents were divorced when I was young, and my mom worked so hard as a nurse to support us, so I felt lonely a lot. You gave me all the attention I so desperately needed and more.

The memories I cherish the most though, and taught me so much about how to be creative and resourceful, were when we played in your childhood dollhouse or played paper dolls. You could take almost any household item and make it into something amazing. Sew any crazy idea I came up with for the dolls to wear.

We'd watch old movies together and act them out with the dolls. We'd take the Sear's catalog and cut out whole rooms and wardrobes for our paper dolls, taking up your entire living room floor. We'd play for hours until it was time to eat.

A rare photo of the three of us

You loved to keep things organized, and that is definitely something that I love to do as well. Everything had it's place. You loved to write too. You kept journals of all the trips you took with Pap-pap. You kept notebooks full of things that were important to you, like songs that you knew and movies you'd watched.

Family was important to you. You always sent birthday and anniversary cards and had a list–which I now have–of all your family's birthdays. You researched and recorded our family's ancestry. You were so proud to tell people that we were related to a von Trapp sibling.

You kept so many photos of your childhood and from your family all organized into little accordion folders. I used to love to get those out and have you tell me about who was in each one. You'd go even further and tell me stories about them all. I loved feeling that connection to my ancestors. I felt like I knew them too.

You read to me. All the time. I have many of those books still to this day, and reading is one of my all-time passions. When you ran out of stories to read me, you'd make them up. My favorite was about Cinder-fella, a remake of Cinderella. I'd make you tell me that story over and over again.

You'd also make up stories about a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes–me–and pretend it wasn't really about me. I did that for my children too, and they always loved it. You'd tell me stories about your own childhood, and it made me feel a wonderful connection to the past.

She even had an index at the back!

There are so many more things you showed me and did for me, that I can't possibly say them all. Which is a wonderful thing. I never run out of memories of you.

I wish we'd had more time together, but you were there when I needed you most.

Thank you for showing me what it looked like to live a life with grace, kindness, compassion, creativity and understanding. Thank you for loving me no matter what.

With all my love,

Your granddaughter


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Heather Hubler



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Comments (5)

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Oh, my heart. What a beautiful tribute. Hugs, my dear friend.

  • Muhammad Abdulkabir about a year ago

    Wow ,this wasn't a funny story. Quite sad

  • A lovely piece for your grandmother and you

  • KJ Aartila2 years ago

    I love your relationship with your Grandmother and the benefits you realize now - and my oldest horse that has been in my life for 23 years(which is old for a horse) is named Violet- she's special. 😀

  • This was such a beautiful tribute to your grandma. I'm an only child too so I know how you felt. And those cookie cutters are so cute!

Heather HublerWritten by Heather Hubler

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