Today I spied some Veronica. Spring was my Grandmother’s favorite time of year and when I spot the Veronica on the lawns around here I think of Grandma. She’s been gone now for over seventeen years, but each spring she comes to life in that Veronica. I can hear her voice again and when I think of her my eyes grow moist and I remember listening as she read me stories. I remember helping her bake fried cakes and filled cookies. I remember hearing the story over and over again of how she was born in a home that didn’t even have half a sack of flour. She was the last child born to a family of Welsh immigrants. She made it all the way to sixth grade. She started working in a canning factory at fourteen, married my Grandfather at seventeen and was the mother of three children that lived to adulthood. Her last child was my father. Her two boys served in World War II. One in the navy the other in the army. All three of her children graduated from high school and my father went on to graduate from dental school on the GI Bill.
My wife and I took care of her as her life wound down and the day that Sister Death came knocking we said our goodbyes. I still remember whispering the Lord’s Prayer in her ear and taking my leave of her. That was December 1989. Each spring when I see the Veronica on the lawns, hear the crickets in the marsh, and see the cowslip flowers in the wetlands I think of Grandma. I can faintly hear her voice and feel her presence.