The Morin Farm in New Gloucester, Maine

Remembering Grammy Morin on Her Birthday

**This post was written in 2014, the year my grandson was born. He will be four this week, and his great-grandmother would have had her 100th birthday two days prior to his big day. I’m updating this post in her honor and memory.**

Fall 2014

I spent some time today making curtains for my grandson’s bedroom.  I have to go back and re-read that sentence, because he has not been born yet (due October 14), and my mind and my heart are not yet one on this matter of grandparent-hood.  I doubt if my grandson will notice that the hem is not exactly perfect or that the header is not perfectly exact. There are, apparently, rules for such things, but I do not know them.

My mother-in-law knew all the rules for sewing, and when I sew, I always think about her.  (It keeps me from thinking bad words.)  She loved to sew and did so in a way that I can only describe as reverent.  Occasionally, it became necessary for her to consecrate the entire living room with a sewing project.  I still have a bathrobe she made for me nearly twenty-five years ago.  She presented it as an offering of love both to me and to the Lord, and I received it as such.

So many things have happened since Ma went to heaven.  Two of my sons have no memory of her, but they know about her nonetheless, because her memory is part of our family lore.  Her love for me, her daughter-in-law, was one of the greatest blessings I received with the gift that is my husband.  “She’s mine!”  Ma declared sometime after our engagement, and she spoke the truth.

Strong-minded and passionately interested in every detail of our lives, she shared her opinions freely.  For whatever reason, this never seemed oppressive, and I never felt condemnation if we chose to disregard her advice.  Most of the time, we were thrilled to have someone who delighted to be in our orbit, for whom no detail was too inconsequential to share.

What did you have to eat?  How many jars of beans did you can?  How many is that in all?

She would want to know that my grandson’s curtains are yellow with tiny John Deere tractors in parade formation.  She would undoubtedly have noticed the irregularities of header and hem, but she would have held her peace.

By some miracle of bequest, I have her sewing machine.  It knows more about sewing than I do, and if I left it switched on, I’m sure it would manage just fine without me, but I know this:  Ma would be glad that I am using it today to sew curtains for her great-grandson.  She would also like knowing that I am about to join the “Grammy Morin” club, because that is what my grandson will call me.  This, like the sewing machine, is a miracle of bequest, a title too weighty for me to carry because it still has a life of its own.  Still, somehow, I think the burden will be light because I saw what it takes to be a “Grammy Morin” by watching the original, and thus we carry burdens of being which are beyond us.  I am a following sheep, an inhabitant of the Kingdom of God, and a bearer of fruit because I know Shepherd and Door and Vine.  I do none of these things with perfection — irregularities of header and hem abound on every level — but they are an offering, and, like my grandson’s curtains and my twenty-five year old bathrobe, they are an offering of love.

Happy birthday, Ma.  We miss you.


Afterword:

Fall 2018 —  Great Grammy Morin would be pleased to know that I recently made yet another curtain, this time for a granddaughter. Oh, and they don’t call me Grammy Morin—for now, I’m “Bam.”

Thankful for the gift of Ma, 

 

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

34 thoughts on “Remembering Grammy Morin on Her Birthday”

  1. Michele, this post brought tears to my eyes, as I joyfully remembered my great-grandma Martina, born in 1906. I was blessed to know her for 18 years as her oldest great-grandchild. She passed down her love of sewing to me. I can still see her iron treadle sewing machine in my mind. How proud she would have been to see the curtains and quilts I made for her three great-great-grandchildren. The best gift she passed down to me was her rock-solid faith. I also have a collection of her tatted doilies that I will put on display today. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story again!

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  2. What a lovely post. I have a few fond memories of my Grandma Morrin but she passed when I was young. My own children have wonderful memories of their Grandma Morrin (my Mom), She loved nothing more than her grandkids. It seems as that is the end of the line for “Grandma Morrin’s” in our family as I only have sisters and we have all taken our husbands names.

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  3. Dear Michele,
    I love hearing your telling of family stories. You always have a way with words, (Orthodoxy included!) but your day to day adventures touch my heart so much. Thank you for stirring in each one of your readers the blessing that family loving truly is.

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  4. Sewing is a wonderfully therapeutic activity that I used to enjoy when I didn’t have to wear spectacles all the time. Now I find it really painful to thread the needle and get impatient with just that! Not to mention taking out the sewing machine and setting it up since I do not have a dedicated work space.
    My household is four generational with my mother-in-law sitting on her favourite chair that the great grand children keep eyeing!
    It is wonderful to have so many people under one roof and even though it means a lot of work, I feel blessed.
    Thanks for sharing this post that brought back wonderful memories of stitching for me too.

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    1. Oh, bless you for living and loving in the midst of 4 generations! And it can be dangerous to sew with little people afoot! I nearly got my finger sewn once long ago when my oldest son was under the table and I was working with the needle!

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  5. It was heartwarming to read your post, Michele. I am sure my mother and my mother-in-law go through similar emotions when they knit sweaters for their grandson or even when they pull out articles from the web to share with me, with him in mind.
    I am visiting here from the Monday Musings link up.

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  6. Michele, I love that story! A little window into your world. Blessed to be your neighbor this morning at Kelly’s. Praying you have a blessed week 🙂
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

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  7. What a beautiful memory and a beautiful way to honor this amazing woman! Thank you for the encouragement to honor the women in my own life who are no longer with us on earth. Enjoyed being your neighbor on #GraceFullTuesday today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What a wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law! I feel fortunate that I also had a good relationship with my in-laws before they passed away. May their leagacies live on in love and faith.

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      2. Yes, my mother-in-law was all I could have ever thought to pray for, truly. I only wish she had lived long enough to meet all my kids. I hope I can be half the grandmother she was.

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  8. This is such a beautiful memory and I am so grateful you shared it! There is such a preciousness in the legacy family generations leave behind. I pray every day that I would be a Mimi well remembered and whose life honors God.

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  9. What a blessing to have had that kind of relationship with your mother-in-law, Michele. (Especially in light of what I’m remembering you’ve written about your own mom.) I had to smile at what you said about what your grandson was going to call you, knowing what he actually does call you. We make our plans, the children change them … 🙂 Lovely reflections, my friend.

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  10. Oh, you have a granddaughter. I didn’t realize that. I know you have sons (like I do). I have only grandsons. Still waiting for that little girl to spoil rotten! 😉

    I was blessed with a saintly mother-in-law too. I think about her nearly every day. She was kindness itself to me, her only daughter-in-law.

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