Monday, June 10, 2013

Grandma Eileen

* Sent in by Amii

I always loved it when my Grandma Eileen and Grandpa Doug would visit from the UK each year.  They would always come in the Spring time.  My own parents had honeymooned here in Queensland and never left, so half the family lived here and the other half back in Liverpool.  Every year Grandma Eileen would say how much she wished that she lived closer as the plane trip seemed longer and longer to her aging body.

Spring time always reminds me of the smell of baking cakes, slices, biscuits and scones.  Grandma Eileen was an avid cook and especially enjoyed baking for everyone.

When I was 13 my family moved back to Liverpool to be closer to Grandma and Grandpa as they both needed care.  I dropped in on them everyday after school on my way home and would stay to help eat any freshly-baked biscuits or slices that Grandma had made during the day.  In quick time the smell of baked goods became synonymous with my daily life.

The years passed and everyone got older with time.  I moved out of home and back-packed through Europe and Asia, ending up back in Australia to marry an Aussie guy I’d met on my travels.  I missed my family back in Liverpool, but loved the Aussie sun, beaches and lifestyle.

I came home from work early one afternoon and could smell apple-cinnamon tea cake before I’d even unlocked the front door.  The very smell threw my mind back in time to when I’d be greeted by drifting wafts of all kinds of delectable goods, all care of my Grandma Eileen.
I rushed down the hall to the kitchen, somehow expecting to find Grandma at the bench, baking tray in hand.

Instead, the kitchen was cold and dark, and the delicious smell was instantly gone.  I felt a little bereft and disappointed, although how I could have expected a visit was beyond me, as both she and Grandpa were now in a nursing home and well beyond flight travel age.

I went about my nightly routine, and noticed the light blinking on the answering machine attached to the landline phone on the hallstand.  I pressed the play button to hear my clearly distraught mother tell me that my dear Grandma Eileen had passed over in the last hour.  I quickly rang her back, then made arrangements for flights to the UK to make it in time for Grandma’s funeral.

Stepping back into the kitchen to make myself a quick cup of tea, I was hit with the distinctive smell of muffins with berry sauce.  I stopped and smiled to myself.

“Hello and Goodbye Grandma ....”


* Sent in by Amii

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