Sweet Lucille’s Traveling Beer Can Vase
Recently we celebrated my Grandmother’s 98th birthday–on Friday the 13th! I gave her a silk white rose to brighten her room, and used a very special “vase” I had been saving just for her….
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, Grandma and Grandpa had come to stay with us for the weekend at our home in northern Minnesota. Mom, Dad, my brother, and I were all showing Grandma and Grandpa the homestead, walking around and chatting. I was proudly showcasing to Grandma a particular part of the outside, an area of the woods off of the yard that Dad had christened “Gina’s Park.”
Grandma sipped on her beer as she appreciated my park, and when she finished it, promptly tossed her empty can off to the side in the trees and strolled back into the house with the group. Appalled, I went back and fished out the trash she had left in my sacred ground.
Privately sharing my indignation with Mom, she encouraged me to let Grandma know how I felt. Too shy to directly confront the criminal, I wrote a note and taped it to the offending can, which I then presented to Grandma. As it was read aloud, the entire family got a tremendous and supportive laugh! There was lots of hugging, and Grandma graciously apologized. She good-naturedly took the can home with her, declaring that she’d give it back to me when I was a grownup.
She did! Grandma saved that can for twenty years, and presented it back to me as a housewarming gift when I was finished with college, gainfully employed, and successfully living on my own. It was a wonderful gesture, much loved and appreciated. I saved that can…
…for another twenty years! And now, I am sharing the love by passing it back to Sweet Lucille. May it bring her joy, no matter what form, to add to her continued pluckiness and humor.