It has always been said that I am a lot like my grandmother. I think it is because of our close relationship through the years. She and I spent weeks together each summer when I was a child. I would visit her in her white and red two-story home with the creaky wooden staircase and the squeaky interior french doors separating my playroom and the entryway. I had my own room at her house full of every Dr. Seuss book written, my very own doll cradle with homemade dolls, and a walk-in closet with a shoe rack containing my great-grandmother's triple A narrow slippers that I wore until my feet grew too large. I remember laying in bed on those humid summer nights and being soothed to sleep by zapping of the neighbors bug zapper out by their pool.
During those summers, my grandmother and I went on adventures. If there was a hump in the road, she would drive fast over it because she knew I loved the feeling of my stomach dropping. Over the years we ate so much ice cream together. Her favorite was pecan flavored hard ice cream and mine was any flavor of soft serve with rainbow sprinkles. We traveled through the locks on the Erie Canal. We pulled weeds in her garden and then picked vegetables to cook for dinner. We climbed mountains in the Adirondacks and picked fresh blueberries at the top. When she was 70 we went to Hershey Park and she went on every roller coaster with me. We planted flowers on my grandfather's grave. And she swung me on the swing he made before he died.
Last summer, after her funeral, I went through some of those photo memories. They were her treasured possessions. Some of those albums have become my treasured possessions. They capture so much of those precious memories I have from my childhood. And they capture something else I treasure: her.
Even though she is gone, she left so much of herself to me through those photos. They are the documentation of our adventures and moments together.
On Saturday I need a treasure to take to the tea with me. I can't take along my grandmother, but I can take our memories. I have picked a few of my favorite albums. They were her way of remembering me during our times apart. Now they are my way of remembering her. Those photos were how she inked her heart and left to fill the empty space in my heart in her absence.