I really miss my grandma's pancakes this morning.
I have never in my life had pancakes that tasted anything like my grandma's. The woman was skilled. I have no idea what she did to them or how she did it, but they must have come straight down from heaven onto my plate after she did some sort of pancake rain dance. She was the Queen of Mickey Mouse Pancakes, and not only that, but she could make a pancake in the shape of whatever you wanted. A dog. A cat. A rocket ship. A dinosaur. It was magical, and it was delicious.
Pancakes weren't the only thing she made, by far, and they certainly weren't the only thing she poured her love into. My grandma was very fond of crafts. I remember morning after morning going to my grandma's house while my parents worked and doing some sort of new art project with my cousins. In hindsight, my grandma may have done crafts with us to give us something to do and keep us busy (read as: not swinging from the ceiling fans and putting each other in diapers for sport), but in those moments, we were her equals, the genius behind our own projects, just like Grandma.
When she wasn't being artsy with us, she was crocheting masterpieces of love for her grandchildren. I have a couple hanging up in my room; one has my name on it, and the other simply says "God is love."
And that He is. And I can think of few people in my life who have communicated that love to me as profoundly as my grandmother did. She was a vessel of God's sweet and tender love for us not only in the things she created for us or the ways she helped shape us into the creative people my cousins and I still in many ways are today, but in the love she shared with my grandpa. Her creative love wasn't limited to crafts and cooking. She and my grandpa masterfully and lovingly created some of the most amazing people this planet has ever been blessed to meet. Together they had seven children, and lovingly raised eight. Those children went on to have their own children, and those children are just beginning to get around to having their own children as well.
I marvel at how fondly my mother and aunts and uncles recall my grandmother. They lost her far too early, but from her life we've all gained so much. She was straightforward, hilarious, busy, and determined. Her traits are carried on in the work ethic, faith, and tenderness of her family.
I remember walking with her and my cousins through the garden she and my grandpa maintained. And while I will never again walk through that garden, I continue to walk the paths of the garden of love they sowed in their children. I remember spending summers and holidays and hours after school at my grandparents' house, and while I miss that house more than seems rational, I will always be a brick in the house of love they built by their marriage. And I'm blessed to be.
I'm thankful everyday, but particularly today, for the legacy of love my grandmother left behind her. And I'm thankful for her pancakes, and I really wish she was here to make me some. Because I'm really hungry, and that just sounds about perfect.