Wednesday remix – Grandma’s touch


Ten years ago, I wrote this story about my grandma. When I began Wednesday remix, I planned on sharing this story, now seems like the perfect time to revisit this memory…

A common household appliance has found a place in my heart. Until recently, the simple iron was a symbol of a weekly chore. Now it is a treasured memory and with each lift of its handle I am reminded of one of my best friends….a woman I’ve known ever since I was born, my precious grandma who took care of me when I needed her.

Upon learning that I would have knee surgery, my grandma offered to come and stay with me. She intended to stay about a week but extended her visit when she learned the Hubs had to be out of town. Without hesitation, she cancelled her hair appointment, golf outings and water aerobics to courageously stay in a house with my three OS and me.

Each morning as I hobbled down the stairs, Grandma would arise early with me. “Those little feet running around wake me up,” she would smile and say as she made her way to the kitchen. 

This rambunctious little girl
became my grandma

Whereas many grandmas enjoy cooking or knitting, Grandma’s strength has always been ironing. Maybe growing up during the Depression had something to do with it. Grandma didn’t wear fancy clothes and the little she had, needed to last for a long time. As a child, her dresses were bought at a store for 25 cents, discounted because the sun had faded the front. For decades, Grandma used to iron everything, underwear, towels, you name it. Nothing made it into a drawer until it had touched a hot iron.

Our family of five presented her with great opportunity to become reacquainted with that skill. Upon entering my bedroom, Grandma saw an enormous blob of dress shirts sprawled in a tangled mess. On the first day she arrived, within hours, they were all neatly ironed hanging in the closet.

The only thing that Grandma complained
about was her bad knee

With each new batch of laundry, Grandma diligently attacked the wrinkles. While I lay in bed with my leg elevated, steps away from me was Grandma. And there she would stand on her bad knee quietly and faithfully whittling down the crinkled clothes.

With the exception of Hubs’ undies, Grandma would iron everything else and put it all into a perfectly pressed pile. 

“Don’t iron my undies!”

For 11 days, Grandma helped me and we all looked like we had an entirely new wardrobe. She’d never admit it, but it’s true, Grandma’s touch had transformed us. With just some starch and water, the OS went to school and looked more handsome. For 11 days, the Hubs had variety in his fashions (HA!) as freshly ironed shirts arrived in his closet. 

During that time I even found myself feeling better because my clothes received her special treatment. When she returned home, the laundry mountain began growing. The clothes she had so neatly ironed quickly returned to their habitual, wrinkled ways.

Every now and then I’ll discover an item she lovingly pressed for me. In the chaos of a drawer, I’ll find it. My hands grip the item, I hold it close for a bittersweet moment and my grandma is right here with me again…

I stand at the ironing board. I don’t want to re-adjust it to fit my height and I feel her presence, wishing she were here.

Grandmas are often there to iron out problems in our lives. The tiny folds of childhood and the wrinkles of teenage foolishness, grandmas know how to apply the right pressure and get results. With their wisdom and love, grandmas somehow manage to sort out the goodness within each of us.

3 thoughts on “Wednesday remix – Grandma’s touch

  1. I loved you last few sentences the most! What a great description of the influence of a loving grandmother. She and I have something in common – I like to iron too. I think it is the instant results mixed with the love of caring for my family that make it a comforting thing for me to do. Great satisfaction in both areas. Bless you as you say good-bye to you grandma. My heart hurts for you. It is hard losing a person who loves you unconditionally.

  2. I can smell the warm, starchy aroma from my Nana's ironing days. She taught me to iron pillow cases…lots of pillow cases!Funny, I wish I had a little of that ironing "bug" too. I have too many clothes that just don't get worn because they need ironing.You are in my prayers!!

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