With All My Love

With All My Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms

With All My Love

The tricycle tipped my three-year-old granddaughter onto the sidewalk before I could buffer her fall. Emily lay there for a moment, calculating her chances of survival. Figuring the odds were in her favor, she sat up with a smile that quickly turned into tears when she saw the blood on her knee. I scooped her up, cooing words of comfort as I carried her into the house to mend her hurt.

With much reassuring and the universally accepted Grandma cookie bribe, she let me wash and put ointment on her scrape. We searched through the band-aid box until Emily found a neon pink one to wear as a badge on her boo-boo.

I kissed her cheek. “All better now, sweetie?”

“No, Gamma, you hafta say the Mommy words,” she said. I quickly ran a list of Mommy words through my mind: Please? Thank you? I love you? “You know, Gamma. Mommy says them to make me all better.” Emily took a deep breath and recited, “A little kiss, a little hug, I give you these, with all my love.”

My heart swirled and remembered. It was the same little ditty that I had said to my children, my mother to me, and her mother to her. My grandmother had died when my mother was eight. There had been no silverware, no china, no jewelry to inherit, nothing to hold but her dear memories. When she became a mother herself, she passed on the gentle love of her mother and the remembered comfort of the “Mommy words” that made all bad things go away and only the good remain. Hearing it now, I realized that though I had never met my grandmother, I did know her. We were mothers—we were connected at the heart

“Don’t cry, Gamma. I be all better.”

Emily and I kissed and hugged, and said the Mommy words to each other. I heard my grandmother’s, my mother’s, my daughter’s, my granddaughter’s, and my own voice blending through time. It was as though my grandmother had written her legacy of love on the hearts of four generations of mothers and then signed it; A little kiss, a little hug, I give you these, with all my love.

Cynthia Hamond

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