“Close your eyes and smell this,” I said to my brother. His response was as expected, “Grandma. It smells like Grandma.” I was holding out Grandma’s quilt not long after she passed away. One of the things you could always count on about Grandma was the scent of Jean Nate´ body powder. That and the way she made you feel like everything was going to be ok. Growing up my siblings and I loved weekend visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where unconditional love was the undertone for everything they did. We could set up a makeshift store where Grandpa would be our ‘shopper’ disguised in some crazy getup and buy back his own items from around the house. When scooping ice cream cones for the grandkids (ice milk actually) Grandma made sure to layer the vanilla ice cream in alternating layers with Hershey syrup—from a can, of course. Once we were in bed at night, we could hear Grandma’s laughter as she and my mom challenged Grandpa and my dad to a game of Rook. Grandma and Grandpa moved numerous times due to Grandpa’s job as a pastor, but their home was always welcoming, comfortable, safe.
After Grandpa passed away, Grandma made the best of living alone and loved welcoming family and friends to her home. First college roommates were made to feel like family, then grandchildren married and she eagerly added these new family members, next she was blessed with great grandchildren. Grandma prayed daily for each member of the family, and we were all recipients of a big ‘squeeze’ when we were near, as well as encouraging notes when we weren’t. And birthday cards. She never forgot your birthday. Grandma was always welcoming, comfortable, safe.
These are just some of the reasons I was glad to be the new owner of a quilt that smelled like Grandma. I folded the quilt and put it in a paper bag in the corner of my bedroom. Although I have often lifted the quilt to my face to breathe in a little scent of Grandma, I have yet to take it out of the bag and wrap up in it—because I don’t want to wear out the scent. As the two year mark of Grandma’s passing approached, I began to think “This is ridiculous, why is the quilt still in the corner?” After some contemplating, I realized that in the back of my mind I was trying to save it for when I really really needed it. Have there been difficult moments over the last two years? Stressful moments? Sad moments? Yes. Yes. And yes. So what am I waiting for?
Don’t we do that with God sometimes? He has loved us even before we loved him, yet we put him in a paper bag in the corner of our hearts. We’re not doubting His love for us, but we’re putting him aside for when we really really need Him, and we know he’ll be there for us when that happens. But what about today? Because of our Savior, Jesus, we can wrap ourselves in God’s love all the time. Wouldn’t every day be a good day to feel welcome, comfortable, safe? Today I am going to let God wrap me up just because. Join me?
“We love because he first loved us.” 1John 4:19