Letter to Mammie Geisinger

As I sit in my kitchen, your rug under my feet, the sun gently glowing between the silhouetted tree tops; I hear the echoes of your calming voice as you proclaim, “Aye dis is schoen.”

How many sunrises did you miss as your eyes dimmed beneath the cataracts?  When you felt the warmth of the welcoming sun did you long to see the pastel peach, the soft hues of pink as they brushed through the sky like a feather releasing its swirling motion to the wind.

Birds begin tentative chirps, reminding me that a daybreak awakens all our senses. It surpasses the handicap of blinded vision delighting us with natures’ revelry as songbirds respond to morning’s hello.

Perhaps you greeted the morning overtures with amused attention to the tempo and rhythm of earnest twills as they conducted nature’s chorus.  Did you imagine the feathers beating, softly thrumming to the songbirds’ sweet tune? The feathery strokes of the sun may have eluded you, but the feathery chorus serenaded you, opening your soul to the newness of the day.

I seek your reassurance often. I long for the gentle brushes of your loving hand on my cheek.   A brush on the cheek so simply done, so simply spoken, so simply translated between the giver and the receiver.  To you it ignited your senses to recognize the texture and contours of our faces.  Mammie your hand on my cheek meant so much to me. I pass your brushes of love to my family, knowing the familiar gesture comes from my great-grandmother’s loving heart.

I rolled out your rug in my kitchen to grant me a small measure of your presence and to serve as a reminder of your creative spirit that persevered despite the obstacles in your life.  Mammie my creative spirit longs to weave as you did, to weave with words as you did with material scraps. You created your rugs in the second half of your life, after raising your children, following your desire to still contribute with purpose even though your body conspired to thwart you.  Surely I can model your passion to create, your discipline to overcome the challenges, your mischievous determination to accomplish your masterpieces your way, as only you could.

I feel the bumpy pattern of your rug loops, they poke into my toes as I trace over the scraps from a pink dress I remember wearing so long ago.  Pieces from a turquoise jumper I recall, bound neatly into the pink scraps, wound not with a hooking tool but your way with a crochet hook and an imagined idea.  Your vision, but not one you could see…your vision that led to this beautiful masterpiece gracing the floor of my kitchen.  And now the weaving of your fingers sparks my ideas, gives me inspiration to follow my desire to write, to become disciplined and devoted to this passion that began so early in my life.

Mammie, this morning, this sunrise, this new day, I promise to you, to the spirit of a great woman whom I only knew in childhood…I promise I will begin to create from the scraps of my life, from the pieces that have flung together in a pile in my soul and now need to burst forth in a pattern of words.  I promise, Mammie, I will continue the legacy you began.  I will weave in my own mischievous way. I will listen for the words to begin their overture even when I can’t see the lighted path.

I will seek to sense the earnest voice that will guide me to release my ideas into the words that will create inspiration to others… like a feather releasing its swirling motion to the wind, like a soft brush of a loving hand on the cheek of one she holds dear.


With all my love,

Your great-granddaughter,

Denise Marie

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

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