My Grandmother's Soft Pillows: A Poem
Mama Dolly was my maternal grandmother. Of all the words that come to mind when I think of her, nurturing, comforting, and love are it. Mama Dolly was short, round, buxom, red haired, and a beautiful woman up until the day she breathed her last. She smelled of perfume or talcum powder, and her cheeks were always blushed with rouge. Like most grandmothers, her cheeks were incredibly soft. I loved to kiss them. Her laugh was like music. Her speaking voice like tinkling bells. I am not trying to be poetic here, honest. They are just the words that burst into my mind.
Dear Mama Dolly was the most nurturtng person to ever grace my life. My mother was very nurturing as well. But there was something about Mama Dolly that just went beyond. She loved us through food, attention, playing with us, and telling stories. She never used books, she just memorized all the classics and the Bible. The most nurturing thing she did was to sit me in her lap to rest my head against her round bosoms. It was warm there, soft, and more comforting than anything I've ever experienced. I wrote a poem about it recently when I was starving for comfort, even at age sixity.
Isn't she beautiful?
Snuggled into the comforting pillows
of my grandmother’s round bosoms,
I often slept and dreamed
of running in colored meadows
where life was safe and golden.
As we cuddled, my grandmother told me
tales without books or pages.
She taught me to hear and see
adventures through her voice
and words that kindled my imagination.
As I rested against Grandmother’s soft pillowy bosoms,
we sang giddy, silly songs, and made
funny motions with our hands.
In the warmth of her pillows
I learned stories about God from the Bible,
that I would know His nearness and promises.
Sometimes I wept into the sanctuary
of my grandmother’s pillows
where I found solace and security
in her croons of “there there,”
her kisses on my damp cheeks,
and the rhythm of her rocking.
Whatever the reason I rested
in my Grandmothers pillowy bosoms,
she was faithful to weave the message
that God loves me as I am,
every waking moment, and that His bosom
is a secure place to lay my head
now and long after she is gone.
© 2016 Lori Colbo. All rights reserved.
As you might have noticed in the poem, I often spent my sorrows in my grandmother's lap to weep. She crooned and rocked me back to happiness. Mama Dolly broke the mold when it came to being a nurturer. I don't know if anyone could quite live up to her. I feel so honored and blessed to be her granddaughter.
Mama Dolly was a great cook, like most grandmothers, and whatever ill befell us, the remedy was food or a story. I loved the story best. She also loved board and card games. My mom was not fond of games and was bored to death, but played because it pleased her mom and she didn't want to be a party pooper. Mama Dolly was a patient teacher, not just how to play, but how to be a good sport. She always had the right words when we lost and were disappointed.
My dear little grandmother loved to buy us treats, but was always considerate by asking Mom first. So that she wouldn't get us all worked up and then be disappointed if Mom said no, Mama Dolly would spell it out. "Bunny (my Mom's name) would you mind if I bought the k-i-d-s some c-a-n-d-y?" By the time we were in high school she was still doing this. We finally broke the news to her one day that we had been reading since the first grade and knew how to spell. She wasn't insulted or embarrassed. She laughed and said, "Well of course."
Mama Dolly had a little nickname for me - "My little Madonna." She didn't mean the pop star, who didn't show up until after her death. It took me years before I found out what a Madonna was. She always said it so lovingly that it made me feel special to her heart.
My grandkids got gypped in the bosom department. But I have a good lap, tell a good story, and love them to pieces. I am sad, though, that the only grands near me are in their teens and adulthood. Lap sitting doesn't seem to be their thing. When they were little though, I did a lot of story telling on my lap with lots of snuggling. I have several grands who don't know me and it makes me sad I can't see them, but maybe one day.
If you are a grandmother or grandfather, you have to be you. Kids will love you if you are yourself, and kind and loving in a way they can see. But if you have a good lap and soft pillowy bosoms, why not rock those children in your lap. The blessing to both of you will be immense.