Legacy of Love

Legacy of Love

From A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Legacy of Love

A package came in the mail today. I knew before opening it that it was from Gram.

Two months before, I traveled to England to say goodbye to Gramps. He died in his sleep and the world had lost a wonderful man. I lost my best friend.

Gram and I spent two weeks together. Unfortunately, she was only a shadow of what she’d once been. The spark had left her eyes and the spring in her step was gone. I never saw her cry.

I wanted to take her home with me, but she refused. Gramps’ presence was in the house and she wanted to stay there.

The day before I was to leave, Gram asked if I’d like something of his to take home with me. She led me into their bedroom and began to sort through his watches, rings and cuff links. Recalling how he disliked dressing up and “putting on airs,” I asked for something special to him—his gardening sweater.

Gram laughed, saying that she had tried for years to get him to throw the old thing out. Feeling sad that she didn’t understand, I accepted a pair of cuff links.

That night, a sound woke me. I padded to the den and there was Gram, sitting in his chair. She was crying softly. As I made my way back to my room, I realized something. She was wearing his gardening sweater.

I left with a heavy heart the next morning. As time passed, in her letters and phone calls, she sounded more like her old self. She was continuing on.

Then the phone call came form her dear friend. She told me Gram had died in her sleep the night before. As a final request, she asked that I not come out for her funeral. There was no one there for me to see. I respected her wishes with a heavy heart. Before hanging up, her friend said she would be sending a parcel by Gram’s instructions.

I glanced down at the package on my table through tear-filled eyes, and slowly began to tear at the wrappings, sobbing. Inside were tiny boxes containing my grandparents’ jewelry, which I will pass on to my own children someday. More importantly, I will tell them about two wonderful people I was blessed enough to have for my grandparents.

As I picked up the box, I noticed a thick layer of tissue covering its bottom. I reached in to remove it, and there, folded neatly, was Gramps’ love-worn gardening sweater.

I took it out and slipped it on. Faintly, beneath the scent of laundry soap, sunshine, vegetable gardens, and a hint of pipe tobacco, linger the memories of Gramps. Smiling, I recall how he used to hide behind the shed to smoke that pipe, not wanting Gram to know.

I will go on to build my own family and memories that come with it. But these two dear people will never be forgotten.

Hope Saxton

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