For some odd reason I have been missing my Grandma Taylor a lot lately. I say odd because, she's been gone almost 14 yrs now and we weren't especially close.
I think her death was much harder on my cousins Evan and Laura than on the rest of us. They were much closer to her than we were, but they weren't Americanized either, they'd spent years in India at a British boarding school while their parents worked at missionaries. So when they returned to America for college, they both had a pretty good relationship with her.
This doesn't mean that my cousins, and brother and sister didn't love her, we did very much. I also know that in our own way we miss her. However, as we grew up we went through a typical adolescent phase where her telling us what to do often irritated us and caused us to butt heads with her. I think I butted heads with her more than anyone. I am the combination of a laid back person with an amazing stubborn streak and I'll stick to my guns when told what I should be doing. This is especially true when it feels like I am being bossed around. I am the oldest, but I also spent the majority of my life having grown ups discount me because I was a child and so it tends to raise my hackles up a bit when I get bossed around or people attempt to manipulate me. Grandma didn't manipulate, she just bossed and nagged.
I used to joke that Grandma Taylor nagged those she loved and I was "loved" a lot. I say it in a joking manner, but as I raise my girls I realize that while Grandma wasn't big on hugs and kisses, she told us how much she loved us with her shows of "concern". So while she meant well, it often meant that we fought because we were different generations. Each generation had a different point of view and we couldn't quite help each other see where the we were coming from. It made for some very heated arguments. Two women who were not exceptionally tall standing facing each other nose to nose and yelling as loudly as they could. Sadly, nothing was solved this way, except to make the chasm between us ever greater.
I think I miss Grandma Taylor the most when it turns cold because that is when I start drinking hot tea. When you spend a few years living with your Grandma, you kind of have things that remind you of her. Like hot tea, soft boiled eggs in egg cups and my one keepsake from her, my memory quilt. I could have asked for a lot more, but the quilt and her mother's ring are the things that meant the most to me. Unfortunately, I no longer have the ring, due to some poor choices from others, but I still have the quilt and when I look at it, it reminds me of all the sewing and things she did. These are the small things that let me know that we meant a lot to Grandma Taylor. There are swatches of material from the awful jams she made for Matthew, dresses she made Meg and I, and some from Mom's clothing too and her own few things. I look at this quilt and remember that while Grandma wasn't big on hugs, she showed us in little ways that meant a lot to her. And that makes me miss her all the more.