Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Grandma Leaton-Her Rocker and Pockets of Fun

About my precious Grandma, Inez (Bobbie) Leaton
(I wrote this in 2002 and did send her a copy—now I’m sharing it with the world.)

Grandma Leaton at a Leaton Family Reunion 
You blessed me with a precious security from the time I can remember. As a youngster I sat on your lap in your big old rocking chair for comfort, safety and hugs. When my siblings and cousins fought over your lap, you laughed and invited us all into the chair with you.  (How did you do that?)
Years later when we drove to Oregon from Colorado, I could hardly stand it till I saw my grandma. The second we arrived you snuggled my whole family right into your rocker, even though your lap had shrunk. It made me sad to see how the many surgeries had robbed you of strength and weight, but I felt thrilled to know your arms and voice never changed.
Over the years we made the trips to see you as often as we could. When we started your direction, Gary and the kids talked about your yummy cookies.
Looks so much like Grandma's Rocker 
Me, I wanted you to rock me right on your lap like a little kid. And you did rock me until your frail frame said, “no more.”
That’s when you coined a new phrase, “Oh honey, it’s so good to see you,” you’d say, “I just wish I could tuck you in my apron pocket then we could have long chats in the dark lonely hours.”
One of our last visits, we drove from Nebraska to Oregon often I said to Gary, “You wait, Hon. My Grandma can’t rock me in her lap anymore, but she’ll want to tuck me in her pocket.”
Sure enough, while we sat side by side, you took my hand in both of yours and pulled it into your lap. You leaned close like you might tell me a secret. The others in the room were so busy chatting they didn’t hear you, but I did. You whispered, “Oh honey, it’s so good to see you. I wish I could just tuck you in my pocket. We could have a party in the lonely hours of the night.”
Husband Said Grandma wanted him in her pocket. 
Grandma, your constant love and the invitation for my family to visit anytime gave me a deep satisfied peace. I loved hearing all the stories of your childhood and the family I didn’t live around. Because of you I’ve learned the value of sharing family stories with others.  
It’s impossible for me to measure up to you Grandma, but it’s my desire to be a story telling, hugging, loving Grandma like you.

With my love, Kat (the one you always called Kathy.)

A few years before Grandma died, I wrote this poem for her.

POCKETS OF FUN

“Climb into my pocket.” Grandma whispered in my ear.
We’ll talk the night away when no one else can hear.
Now Grandma’s apron pocket is far too small for me,
Still and all, my heart is warmed by her desire, you see.

Grandma’s hugs and kisses never disappear
I’ve carried them near my heart over all my sixty years.
At ninety-seven I don’t think Grandma knows my name.
Yet I still love to hear her pocket phrase just the same.

As a child she rocked me and taught me not to fear.
And when I cried she wiped away my tears.
Dear Lord, my Grandma lies alone tonight, many miles away,
Please climb into her pocket and comfort her, I pray.
       
Rocker photo from Antique Chairs (1900-1950)