I was working in the kitchen preparing the evening meal and checking on the oven. My mind was drifting through memories of my grandmother and stopped when I remembered her beautiful hands. They were modest, soft, gentle hands that had seen many years of work keeping the homestead humming. As I looked down at my own hand on the oven door handle, I saw her hand cover mine and I felt her standing with me. As I exhaled her name " Grandma", she was gone. It is not unusual for me to feel her presence or to find myself wandering through the archives of her life in my mind.
Grandma was a healer. No one gave her the title, she did not hang a shingle on her door and she did not bandy the term about as her identity. She simply was. If you had a tummy ache, Grandma made sage tea. If you had an ear ache she laid you on a pillow and took care of it. When my mother could not get my cough under control my Grandmother would mix up a drink ( horseradish root and honey) and then place mustard packs on my chest. She new which plant leaves to grab from her garden to slow the bleeding until you could get inside. She knew how to relieve the sting and swelling from a wasp or bee sting and she knew how to treat burns. These things were learned from generations past and the survival techniques every woman knew. It was always that way. But there were some more skilled than others. Family members would come to Grandma but so would neighbors and towns people. She would set them in the rocking chair, pull up her stool and take ahold of hands and bare feet, rubbing on specific places and chatting with while she worked. We know this as reflexology but Grandma just did it without pretense. She could run her hands along your spine or hips or joints and find the source of the problem. She would finish by holding your hand in hers and she would softly say, "There, is that better?" Any residual affliction would just leave. She also had a strong knowing concerning those she cared about. She would mention that she hadn't heard from so and so for a while but they would probably call that day. They would. She would know when someone was sick or having troubles and when she checked on them it was so. She would know to check in on a neighbor and find they needed a little help. She lived listening to that voice and never gave it a second thought. She cared for her neighbors, checked on the elderly and she walked wherever she went. She thought you missed so much by driving every place. Not that she couldn't drive because she could, even tractors if need be, she just chose not to. Her life was about care and creating and planting and building and a healing love. Always with the same grace and peace. It was Grandma's influence and the gifting that she gave to me that was the foundation for my own journey through the healing realms. Thank you Grandma!