Grandma’s China

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Grandma’s name was Grace and it suited her. I remember the long drive to her house and how she smiled wide as she enveloped me in her arms and in the distinct smell that grandmothers have. She would give me and my sisters each a lukewarm can of ginger ale and then we’d run off to a nearby park to whirl on the merry-go-round while the adults visited.

After Grandma went to glory, they found a missionary update tucked inside her Bible. On the back, she had awkwardly scrawled a list of prayer requests. My name was on the list. I treasure that slip of paper still.

Grandma’s best china was covered with delicate little sprigs of blue forget-me-nots. They divided up the set when she died. I carefully wrapped up my few pieces, one by one, and hid them in a cedar chest so they wouldn’t chip.

Last month, I did something that felt a little daring. I pulled out Grandma’s china for my daughter’s birthday tea-party

and I made myself a cup of coffee

in a fragile floral teacup.

It felt special. So special, in fact, that I use Grandma’s teacup almost every day now. I come downstairs in the morning, push back the heavy dining room curtains and settle into the brightest patch of sunlight I can find. Then I slowly sip my coffee, savouring every drop.

As I sit there, I think about grandma-hugs and ginger ale and scrawled prayer requests. I also think about life and death and legacy.

Mostly, however, I think about how there is only one today. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. So why not pull out the best china and make each day special?

And, while we’re at it, why not make each day count?

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