Saturday, August 27, 2011

Story of the Hummingbird.

The dark silhouette sits on my forearm, hovering softly over the words by which I live my life.
Every time I glance down, I remember her.

My little legs swung carelessly from the rod iron patio chair. The yard was relatively quiet, opposed to it's normal state of being filled with the sounds of the cousins. An unusual 5 year old, I had no issue appreciating the general silence I was sharing with my grandmother. (We're a big family, so stealing solitary moments with her was priceless.) My eyes were fixed on the bright red feeder, earnestly trying to avoid blinking, in fear of missing them. Every once in a while I would quickly glance at my grandmother, only to receive a look that said, "Patience, child." Back to waiting. And then the reward finally came. The hummingbird's delicate frame sped in and magically hovered in mid-air next to the feeder. I was completely enthralled. The wait was totally worth it, and so was the smile on my grandmother's face when she saw my pure excitement. 

This is the only real memory I have of my grandma Waeckerle. I can still describe her house with every little detail, but I can't see her in it. I could tell you about the chair she used to sit in all the time, but I can't place her in that chair in a memory. I remember the two Christmas decorations I absolutely loved and one Christmas when my uncles blew a fuse putting lights on the Christmas tree, but I don't remember her being there (though she obviously was). What I'm getting at is that I have just this one memory in which I can see my grandmother. Grandma Waeckerle passed away when I was 6; it's been 17 years and I recently realized I was struggling to remember her. I have trouble picturing her face. I don't remember the way she smelled or the sound of her voice. It's deeply saddening.

She was a strong and quiet woman, and my dad tells me I reminded her of my grandfather (whom I never had the honor of meeting). She raised 6 strong children, who are now in turn raising more strong children. She was the cornerstone of our family. And I sure don't want to forget her.

{Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.}

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