Channeling Grandma

My daughter was 2 when we said goodbye to my Grandma Noreen and yet, this last week my now four-year-old has channeled her spirit.

Maybe it’s just me being cognizant that it was my grandma’s birthday on March 12. But shortly thereafter Kimber began to show her “Noreen” side. One day she announced to me that we needed to clean out the kitchen cupboards. I told her that was a good idea but that it would have to be another day. She then asked me if she could clean out the refrigerator (she’s 4!) and I reluctantly said okay.


So out came all the food, the condiments, the medicines, the I don’t know what this is, but it may have been a meatloaf at one time . . . items. She so inspired me that soon I was cleaning with her. Drawers were removed, hot soapy water was issued and soon our fridge sparkled.


This was so my grandmother. For her whole life she cleaned her house into perfection. In her later years she commissioned one grandchild or the other to help her with her continuous cleaning projects.

After tackling the refrigerator, I said to Kimber, “Grandma Noreen would have loved you as a helper.” She said back to me, “I know”.

Today we decorated for Easter. I don’t generally decorate much for holidays other than Christmas but somehow I ended up with my Grandma’s Easter decorations. Grandma enjoyed Easter for spiritual reasons but also because it meant springtime on the ranch was usually in full swing. Baby calves were on the ground and blooming prairie flowers were right around the corner.

 Grandma had us grandkids dye Easter eggs by the dozens. She would gather us together in her small ranch house dining area and we would keep on coloring them until the flow of eggs finally stopped from her. Grandma enjoyed bright colors and at the eggs that pleased her the most she would exclaim, “Oh, Gawd, ain’t that beautiful.”

She liked decorating her house for the holidays with knick-knacks – miniature size anything – window clings and decorative cutouts she could tape to her wall. All three make me cringe. And yet I now have a whole tote full of them and my daughter is in absolute heaven.

Kimber arranged the knick-knacks in her room, placed the window clings at her eye level on the patio door and hand selected the wall cutouts she wanted me to tape to her bedroom door. She also weeded through the odd hundred plastic eggs that were in the tote to find her favorites.

At the end of it all she said, “Ah, I love Easter.”

And I said, “So did Grandma Noreen.”

“I know,” she said and walked away.

At Easter time I find Kimber’s actions a great reminder that even though our loved ones are gone they are always with us – you just have to know it.

Wishing you many blessings this Easter holiday.

© Codi Vallery-Mills