NEARESt and deArest: Emma Schmidt Briggs

Katie Blog, NEARESt and Dearest, Spirit, Wide-Awakeness Project Leave a Comment

I am the grand daughter of Emma Briggs. I was blessed to be loved by her, and by all my grandparents. I wish there was a word that could adequately describe how I feel when I think back over my grandparents’ love. Fortunate. Grateful. Treasured. A grandparent’s love is unique, and fierce, and joyful. It is delivered without judgement or expectation, simply because you are the light of their soul. You can feel it. As a grandchild, you become a unique constellation of stars that make up an entire universe. They light up when they see you. They have a list of things they want to make sure you know. They have stories to tell. They have people that want you to meet as they march you proudly through church. They give you extra (of whatever) when you need it. They love your parents in a special way and that is important, too. Granny was all of that to me.

Granny’s love meant meticulously permed hair. Watching Another World when I was sick. Learning to cook while standing in her shadow. Working cross word puzzles with a pencil. Tackling huge jig saw puzzles starting with the border. Never really understanding how to play bridge or poker, but always trying. Hearing “Measure twice. Cut once” while sewing. Cane pole fishing for blue gill. Tripoli nights with air popped popcorn and no salt. Corny joke telling, usually by Gramps but she would play along and groan. The jokes only got better in the telling and retelling. Irises traveling through many gardens. Peddling the blue car down the hill at Two Springs Lane. (I actually think that car might have even been inherited from Uncle Russ.) Reading. Reading. Reading. Sewing costumes for every high school musical and my senior prom dress, too. Receiving letters while in college. Gifts that kept a young adult going, literally. Granny was all of that to me.

Grandchildren get to be biased. We get to see the sacred in our grandparents. We get to be perfect to them and imagine them to be perfect. We get to enjoy the hot fudge sundae with nuts and extra cherries they bring to our lives without worrying about the calories. We get to take trips to Florida with them. We get to enjoy them pretending to actually enjoy really long dance recitals. We get to believe they really did want to help us with our homework. We get to feel them love our parents, and us, no matter what. That is a good lesson about what love really is. Granny was all of that to me.

As we celebrate Emma Briggs, let us remember the essence of her being. Let’s think about her laugh. Let’s think about how smart and beautiful she was. Let’s think about her sense of adventure. Let’s think about the twinkle in her eye that never faded. Think about your own love for Emma and hold whatever image comes to mind in your hands and heart. As you hold it, know that is a gift given by Emma during her 99 years with us. Thank you, Granny. Thank you, Granny. Thank you, Granny.

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