When I was a little girl, one of my fondest memories is visiting my grandparents and sitting with them on their bright red wooden porch swing. I remember sitting with one or both of them, relaxed, listening to the gentle creak of the wooden swing and the cool clank of the chains that held us up.
Both of my grandparents loved to sing. They typically weren’t loud singers, just a soft soothing gospel hymn that they would hum or gently sing. When you are little and nestled in the comfort of Grandma, there really couldn’t be anything better.
As I grew, things changed. My parents divorced. My dad moved in with my grandparents to help take care of them and to find his own footing after the end of his marriage.
In the beginning, I would visit every other weekend based on the initial custody agreement. As things progressed, I ended up moving in with my dad, my grandparents, an aunt and a cousin (who to this day is more like a sister). It was unconventional. Too different to share with friends at school so I said very little and didn’t invite friends over very often. It was an odd time of moving into middle school, figuring out why my parents got divorced, and beginning to grow up.
But the swing was always there. Sometimes a shared spot with one of my many family members and sometimes, just me. Alone. Trying to sort everything out.
That swing was there to comfort me when my grandmother unexpectedly got sick and passed away. It was there for fun family gatherings like Easter egg hunts, cookouts, and Grandpa’s famous Sunday chicken dinners. It was there for my first kiss, my first heartbreak and for all the teenage growing pains that fell in between.
And then I grew up and went to college. For a time, I forgot about that old swing and the comfort that it gave me for so long.
This past Mother’s Day, I was asked what I wanted for a gift. Most years, I smile and say that my girls are my gifts. And believe me, they are. However, this year was a little different. We were all home, experiencing a strange time with COVID and isolation. Somewhere in my mind, I remembered how comforting that swing was and I knew that I wanted to share that piece of home with my ladies. So, I asked for a swing.
Most nights, I try to go out and swing, even if just for a few minutes. I love when my girls come out. They may start out staring at their electronic devices but in the end, we end up talking a little more than I think we originally would have. It’s nice and peaceful. And comforting.
So, if you see me gently swaying on my gray wooden swing, stop and say “hi”. Or just know that I’m probably swinging away the day, thinking of my grandparents and the hymns they sang to me not so long ago.
Thanks for crossing the swinging bridge with me.