Carpeting and the Sketches She Drew

10.23.08


We’re getting new carpet, and that means every item needs to be off the floor today. Even the box. You know the box. Everyone has one.

My box was first my Grandmother’s box. When we packed her up in the middle of a blizzard in 1996 and moved her out of the apartment she’d rented since 1945, I stole a box of her belongings. They were her drawings. My Grandmother loved to sketch and I hear tales of my mother having painted a few canvases too.

In 1965 they bore her initials E.E. and sometimes Mom.

In 1970 she signed the sketches Grandma.

In 1973 she signed them Ama, because that’s what I called her, and upon seeing that I determined they belonged to me.

By 1996 my Ama was forgetful and angry, in 1998 she was just tired. By 2001 she’d forgotten that she’d quit smoking and cussing, though dying, she was lovely to me. Hideous to everyone else, but she always loved me best, and I was secure in that knowledge.

I’m embarassed to tell you that I don’t recall which year she died, but I remember her last breath. It was peaceful. I’m not sure what to do with the box today, I can’t quite throw it out and I don’t want to frame who she used to be. The simple act of moving it, of touching it, cautions me of the many hats I will inevtiably wear.

Facebook Comments

0 responses to “Carpeting and the Sketches She Drew”

  1. Mrs Pop says:

    Don’t you DARE throw that box out! Even if you cannot bring yourself to frame one or two of your favorites, save the work. Your children will thank you for it.

    On a lighter note, I want new flooring. Badly. Okay. I want a new house. One that I design and plan and choose the interior of. For now, though, I’d settle for some nice new paint on the walls and distressed, wide-plank hard wood floors.

  2. cevbindner says:

    I agree with Mrs Pop, do not throw those drawings away. My grandfather is actually an artist (shameless plug for him http://www.jerrygebrart.com), and my grandmother was a concert pianist, opera singer, and linguist. As a result I have tons of sketches from my grandfather and between my mom and I we have boxes of language books and sheet music. I don’t think I could part with the stuff, it just is a reminder of who they are.
    On a side note, I want new flooring, we put new carpet in when we moved in last year, it was supposed to be stain master. Nothing has been spilled on it, just having lots of workers in and out of this house due to the numerous problems that have occurred with it, and the carpet has been professionally cleaned. Yet it still looks like the carpeting hasn’t been replaced in 10 years. I wish I could have a wood/bamboo floor now in the living room. But I guess I should just be happy we are going to redo the kitchen.

  3. Kelly says:

    Jessica, you literally took the air out of my lungs with that post. The losses of my grandparents, even several years ago, are still so deeply personal – their things still sacred. Keep the box. Forever.

  4. You know, I always forget the year my dad died, but like you, I remember his last moments like it was yesterday.

  5. Camille Riddle says:

    Can you not just put them in a scrapbook to save them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *