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She had always been there, up against the wall, specks of dust collecting on her carmel hair and the ornate pink flowers that surrounded her smiling face. For some reason, I was raptured by her beauty, that child-like innocence that surrounded this canvas of hers.
Whenever my cousin and I played in Grandma’s basement, playing “House” normally, we always took extra care in dusting and cleaning this friend of ours. She was always one of the centerpieces of our new home; we handled her with surprising care for our young age. We knew that she was special, even if no one else seemed to take notice.
As the years passed, my cousin and I both grew up and “House” was forgotten, for we were too old for such things. While child’s games were no longer an interest to us, I never forgot about the girl in the painting and her playful black and white kitten.
And when the tragic day came and my beloved grandmother passed away; that day I lost a strong, wonderful woman who was always cooking, who had exquisite skill in sewing, who took the time to make something from her heart…
After some time passed, my grandfather began to give away some of her possessions to her friends and family. And while looking in the basement one fateful day, I stumbled upon her. The painting.
With a melancholy smile, I asked my grandfather if I could take the painting. He grudgingly said yes, for he was not used to so many people being in his home. I tried to suppress my excitement as I looked down at her, that painting that held so many memories for me.
To this day she is still with me, propped up on my dresser, and whenever I look at her I remember all those childhood memories. The giggles of my cousin, the smell of my grandmother cooking…
For, even though my grandmother has been gone for thirty years now, whenever I look at that painting, I remember her and all that she did for me. And, maybe intentionally, the best thing she ever did for me was letting my grandfather give me the painting.
For some, it is just a painting. A little girl playing with her kitten.
But, for me, it is the key to a hundred memories. And even though I have grown up and long forgotten about games and dress-up, never once did I forget about the painting. And never once will I ever forget all that she’s done for me.