There are some people who make indelible impressions on your life. It might be because of their big personality, their athletic ability, their work towards social injustices, their community involvement. . . it might simply be because of their quiet faith and love for life.
Images of one such person came to me early yesterday. She left an indelible impression because of her quiet faith and love for life, but she certainly had a big personality as well! She was a small person who wore calico dresses, with tight gray pin curls, and wire-rimmed glasses. She was the quintessential grandma type without the extra 'smushy-ness' that a typical quintessential figure might have. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law, and as awkward as that might sound, it worked beautifully for them. We kids (my brothers and I) would often spend the night at their house and she reveled in making silver-dollar pancakes for us for breakfast. They are the same recipe as big pancakes, but they are dropped onto the skillet with a small spoon. Can you eat a whole pancake in one bite? I can! Our mom wouldn't buy "sugar cereals" so if we didn't have silver-dollar pancakes on our sleepovers, we would have Fruit Loops! I LOVED Fruit Loops. Cooking was one of the things she loved doing most, I think. There was always cookies, pies, home-canned vegetables and fruit, and good old Southern cooking. In the summer, she would bribe my dad by making home-made ice cream topped with fresh peaches! That's a 'love language' down South! She taught me how to hand piece a nine-patch quilt square and I passed many a bored afternoon piecing them throughout my teen years. They are still packed somewhere and should probably be made into a little throw. Thankfully, I've since learned how to use a machine! She always had the time to sit, watch, and laugh right along with us at the cartoons on Saturday mornings!
What was this person's name? Maw Kyle. Yep, just like that. . . "Maw Kyle". Did she have a first name? I don't know. . . I never knew it! Everyone called her "Maw" and she was fine with that. The images that are in my mind are of her laughing, crinkling her eyes behind her glasses, and often wiping tears from her eyes from laughing so hard! Images of her saying, "that's just between us!" and our parents being OK with not knowing everything because they trusted Maw. Images of her standing over her stove cooking up some love. Images of her coaxing me to play their big, antique pump organ. . . you know, the kind with the pedals that pump air through the pipes. Talk about a workout!
As I sat down to write this morning, I realized that I hadn't thought any more about Maw Kyle since yesterday morning. I got caught up in what was happening to me, the schedule I had to keep, the things that are presently defining my life and missed the lessons I could've taken from my memories of Maw. My blurred focus on the seemingly 'mundane' things that make up my life needed to be sharpened to see them as beautiful. I needed the reminder that harmony can come from effort, focus, and concentration just like creating music on the antique pump organ. The impact of my life can and will be felt many years from now. What do I want that impression to be? Beautiful and harmonious, definitely.
. . . and certainly, indelible. Just like Maw Kyle.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. –Ralph Waldo Emerson