I have been a part of Michael’s family now for 26 years, and for as long as I can remember, every Christmas, Mammaw (Michael’s grandmother) has given him a jar of her homemade Pomegranate jelly. It’s something we have both looked forward to, something we savor, and something we eek out through the year to try and make it last till the next batch. We never, ever make it much past June.
Long before the pomegranate rage, we appreciated them and this amazing jelly made so lovingly by his grandmother. Long before you could buy ANYTHING made with pomegranates, we were savoring the flavor, not even knowing it might be good for us in some way. We were into pomegranates, before pomegranates were cool!!
I just placed the very last jar of pomegranate jelly that will be made by Mammaw, from her pomegranate trees in her back yard, in my refrigerator…..and it makes me sad, and melancholy, and just generally blah.
I won’t share Mammaw’s age because, well, she doesn’t (at least not willingly)…I will only say that she has been “39 and holding” for more than 50 years now. She is exactly who I hope to be as I age….active, involved, engaged and, simply put, full of life. She is the epitome of growing old gracefully and I can only hope to do it half as well as she has.
Mammaw fell and broke her hip this past July.
She has recovered amazingly well…..no doubt because of all that graceful living she has been doing for so long…..but in the end, the fall has brought with it all kinds of changes, one of which is that she is now living locally in an assisted living apartment. This means, at some point in the near future, her house will be on the market and there won’t be pomegranate trees to pick from and make jelly.
This house has been theirs since Michael’s mom was a child at least, so saying good bye to this house is so much more than saying good bye to pomegranate trees (after all, it’s not like they are the only pomegranate trees out there!!), but in some ways, that yard Mammaw so lovingly tended for so many years, those trees that she took the fruit from every year, these are the areas that I personally will miss the most, the ones I grieve for as we move towards getting the house ready to sell.
I have already asked her to show me how to make the jelly, and I will find some trees somewhere to get the fruit from, but that little jar of jelly, so lovingly made by her, will never be the same being made by me.
Truth is, when all is said and done, we have one last jar to savor, Mammaw is here closer and we will get to see her much more, and she IS making amazing strides to getting back to where she was before…..all of which is way more important than a jar of jelly and some pomegranate trees. Counting the blessings!!!
Sorry for being so MIA……updates to come…..working on getting back into a groove and getting out of the funk I seem to be in right now!! It’s a new year and I just need to get psyched for new adventures and the promise a new year holds!!!!!