My Grandmama passed away during my first year of college, over 30 years ago. She was a sweet lady who I loved dearly.
She was the perfect grandmother.
She owned a ten cent store with a candy counter and she always made sure she was selling some of my favorite sweet things. Grandmama wasn’t much at “giving” you anything, but if you would push a broom, stack boxes or organize magazines, then she would pay you in candy or comic books.
I’m not sure how tall my Grandmama was, I would have to guess around 4’11” to 5’1” – she wasn’t tall at all. As a matter of fact, when she was sitting down behind the counter where the cash register was, you couldn’t see her.
Having a grandparent, parent or somebody to count on and teach us some of the basics about life, is very important to children.
Children need to know what to expect and understand that pushing a broom means getting candy or a comic book. Some adults might even need to understand this.
When I think of my Grandmama, I think of her ten cent store in rural Alabama, Mason jars full of water to take fishing and the wonderful daffodils that come back each spring in her yard. The daffodils seem to say, “Hey, we’re back, we’re going to keep coming back, we haven’t quit and we never will.”
Those good things and the one time I heard her utter a bad word under her breath when we were in the car on the way to church. My Papa had made her pretty angry about something and she turned loose of a not so nice word.
I ducked down in the backseat of the car. Things calmed down and that was the only time I heard Grandmama say a bad word. It wasn’t even an “ear-covering” word, but to hear Grandmama say it was kind of shocking.
The bottom line is that I knew what to expect from my Grandmama. She was a constant. Being a math fellow and more importantly a parent, I know how important constants are not only in children’s lives, but in everyone’s lives.
We want and need something that is unchanging. A lot of folks say “Change is good.” It might be good for some folks, but I would like to think that “Constants are even better.”
In other words, it’s nice to know as a little boy that you have somebody who loves you enough to fill a Mason jar with ice water before you start a long walk to catch a fish. It’s also nice to know if Grandmama gets one on her line before you do – she’s going to hand you the pole. She’s got to do it. It’s expected of her.
So when my brother sent me a picture of Grandmama’s daffodils still coming up after all of these years, I knew what he was saying. He was saying, “We still have our constants. Our grandparents and parents are gone, but we will continue to remember what an important part of our lives they were.”
Grandmama’s daffodils keep coming back each spring saying, “Change might be good, but it sure is nice to be able to depend on constants.”
I know some things have to change sooner or later, but I just don’t see the point in changing things that work just fine, maybe even “better than fine.”
What is my point?
Am I telling you that you should go plant daffodils? No, not unless you just like daffodils. How about a Mason jar of ice water? No, but I will tell you that there is not many things that are better than ice water or sweet tea out of a Mason jar.
What I’m trying to say is that we should all appreciate the constants we have in our lives - the things, the people, the places… For goodness sakes – our dogs, if we are dog people. I know my dogs are going to open the door and meet me in the driveway before I have the chance to even stop the car.
I guess the other thing is that we need to try to be constants to some people, in particular our children.
If I feel like I need a little change, I might consider planting a few tulips. However, you can count the daffodils staying put.
What did Grandmama say that was so bad?
Oh, now that I think about it, she was probably referring to something to throw out on those daffodils to make them keep coming back each spring.
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