Children know no time, their minds do not entertain days beyond today.
I stared into the mirror, focusing for a moment on the reflection of the Grandfather clock that stood behind
me. Although the hands of the old clock had stood motionless upon it’s face for many years, my personal reflection confirmed
that time had not stood still. A lifetime already? I turned from the mirror and faced the lifeless old Grandfather
clock. For many years I thought you tried to hold back time and failed. For minutes continued to tick into hours, hours
into days, days into years. Now, after all this time, your motionless hands have new meaning to me. I understand now. Days
no longer turn to years, nor minutes to hours, but instead they reverse until the hands of time stand still. But, my hands
are not yet still and I remember well.
Grandpa and I bought this house in May many years ago. We parked the
car and strolled up the walk hand in hand. What a beautiful morning it was! Wild flowers were thick in the fields and the
crisp morning air refreshed my soul. Your grandfather kissed me then. Can you feel the cool, soft breeze playing with
your hair child? Oh the sweet smell of jasmine! Have I been to this house before? Beyond the living room there was
a beautiful library with books of poetry, short stories, and wonderful novels. Beautiful books bound in soft leather with
gold lettering, each unlocked another world, another time and place, another adventure! Who will I be today? Who will I meet?
Where will I go? Each morning I would open the huge wood
framed windows that overlooked the fields and the gentle breeze would tickle my cheeks as I read for hours on the hard wood
floor in front of Father Time. He seemed to be amused with me. Oh the sweet smell of wild flowers! Material things mean little to me child, but I do love Father Time!
He’s home! He’s home!
Could I have waiting another moment for him? "Where’s my lovely wife? Where is the beautiful woman I married?”
I’m here! “I hear you, but I don’t see you my love. Where is my lovely wife?” Here, in here! I'm in
here my prince! "Where is here?” The library my love! “Oh yes, I keep forgetting that here is the library.”
Then I would hear him laughing as he appeared in the doorway, with his beautiful blue eyes flashing a radiant smile that always
made my heart skip a beat. “May I have a kiss?” Please? “Please may I have a kiss?” I lived for your
grandfathers kisses. “Where did you go today,” he would ask me. When I would just smile, he would say, “do
I need to ask Father Time?” Ask him, if you feel you must! I would say, shooing him away. “Okay then, I
will.” He would then stroll over to the beautiful old Grandfather clock, fall to his knees and ask, “Father Time,
where was my lovely wife today?" For your grandfather knew me well. "Just as I thought," he
would sigh. "Thank you Father Time." Then he would turn back to me as if pierced through the heart and say, "Father
Time tells me you visited with Rhett Butler again this morning. Is he more handsome than I?” Fiddle
Le De, if you don't lavish me with kisses, I may tell you so tomorrow! Ha ha ha! Oh, how I enjoyed teasing your grandfather!
After dinner each night, Grandpa and I would sit
on the porch swing, he would light his pipe, and I would share with him my stories. He would uplift me with his undivided
attention, knowing how I enjoyed embellishing every detail. Long into the night we would sit after my story was told and share
our hopes and dreams of the future. He loved to paint, and sometimes, he would sit in front of his easel and paint scenes
from my imagination, my thoughts and my heart. How do you see inside of me” “I know you well my love, I
know you well,” he would say as his brush gently stroked the canvas. “Where are you in the painting?” I
would ask him disappointed that once again I was painted alone. “I am in your heart my dear.” Forever my love,
forever in my heart! was the response he anticipated.
Grandmother could barely whisper that last line as tears trickled down her cheeks. That was the last story
Grandmother shared with me. She left me everything; her entire estate, the land, the house and all it’s contents, but
most cherished to me, the memories of her life in my heart.
The house had been lifeless for many years before
I returned. But, the living room was just as I remembered it. The white linen sheet still covered the couch where Grandmom
and I last sat together that Saturday morning once upon a time. On impulse, I rushed to the window as if I could catch my
mother leaving for work. I parted the curtains and looked out with the hope of a child. But, only the wind was there to greet
me. I opened the window widely and the morning air rushed in and danced around the room. That’s when I noticed the dust
covered record still sitting in place, I blew off the dust and held my breath, would it still work after all these years?
When the music began to lull in my ears, it brought with it a gush of memories. Instantly, I smelt jasmine!
The candle! Where is the candle? I looked around the room; but I didn’t really believe I would find it. I sat down on
the couch and rubbed my hands over the coolness of the sheet as if searching for something. That’s when I saw the two
tall glasses sitting on the table in front of me. Grandmom’s homemade tea! It was almost as if I could still taste it
in my mouth. I picked up the glass that was my Grandmother’s and sat there holding it for what felt like hours. By the
time I laid the glass gently back on the table, the room was dimming and the air felt damp. I closed the window and decided
to walk through the rest of the house.
When I stepped into the kitchen, I realized that most of my time
at Grandmother’s house was spent with her in the living room. However, I do remember nights when mom and I would eat
dinner with Grandmom in the kitchen. I glanced into the Dining Room as I continued down the hall. The first floor bedroom
was Grandmother’s. Her favorite color was pink, and it reflected in the pastel floral prints of the curtains and bedspread;
feminine and romantic, just as I had remembered it. The spiral staircase did not seem as huge to me as it did when I was a
child. I ran up the stairs and straight to the window at the end of the upstairs hallway and looked out into the gardens,
just as I always did as a child. The gardens where overgrown and unkempt, but still they held a unique charm and beauty.
Grandmother had a special room just for me. When I opened the door it took me back in time. I was a child again,
but unlike then, I felt alone and scared in a place that had once filled my heart with joy.
Grandmom, I miss you! I
cried aloud. My bed was a pink ruffled canopy and my furniture white with gold trim. Sitting on the little writing desk in
a floral cut brass frame was a picture of Grandmother and me, obviously taken many years ago. I don’t believe I had
ever seen that picture before. As I stared at the picture, I felt a sense of comfort.
Then I saw a little pink
envelope on Teddy’s lap who sat in the rocking chair in the corner of the room. As I slowly walked closer I could see
the writing on the envelope clearly, which read, For My Beloved Granddaughter. It was for me, from Grandmom! When did she
lay it there? Why had I never seen it before today? My hands were shaking as I opened it and began to read.
Dear Granddaughter ~
have always been my everything. God sent you, my little angel, just for me! For you’ve been forever
painted in my heart. When you miss me, search deep within your soul and believe in me. Remember my stories
well, they are yours now. Yours to take you back in time. Seize every moment and create a lifetime of wonderful memories!
I’ll look forward to hearing about them one day! Here is the key to the Library;
it will only work if your heart so desires. Cherish your grandfather’s painting as I do and love Father Time. I love
you with all my heart and soul. Goodbye, for now.
The Library? Was that this house? Why have I never seen it before? I took the little
golden key from the envelope and ran through the rooms. Where would it be? “Remember my stories well,”
rang through my thoughts. “Beyond the living room there was a beautiful library with books of poetry, short stories,
and wonderful novels. Beautiful books bound in soft leather with gold lettering, each held another world, another time and
place, another adventure!” I ran to the living room, wondering why I had never noticed another possible room
beyond it. I spent hours and hours in that room, I would have known! There must be some mistake!
When I reached
the living room the record was still playing, I glanced around the room holding the little golden key in my hand; my thoughts
jumbled. I stood there staring at nothing, captivated by the music. That’s when it came into focus, a little leather
bound book with gold print sitting upon the bookcase.
Grandmother’s Stories? I picked it up,
and noticed it was locked, I tried the little golden key in the lock. It worked! As I flipped through the pages, I recognized
each word. I flipped to the last chapter in the book that began, After dinner each night, Grandpa and I would sit on the porch
swing, he would light his pipe, and I would share with him my stories. He would uplift me with his undivided attention, knowing
how I enjoyed embellishing every detail. The words got blurry as my eyes filled with tears.
Was my mother right,
had my grandmother lost her mind? Could she have memorized these stories to claim as her own? My mind was exhausted, but again
I remembered my grandmother’s words; “Children know no time, their minds do not entertain days beyond today.”
I glanced back down at the book, the pages flipped back into place; I recognized my Grandmother’s handwriting on the
front cover. For my Granddaughter who may one day wish she had written down my stories. But, children know no time, their
minds do not entertain days beyond today.
I was angry that she would go as far as dedicating this book to me as her own. I threw it to the floor. My
soul was silently screaming as I realized that I didn’t know the woman my world revolved around. “Who am I?”
I screamed. I didn’t know. My sobs echoed long into the night.
hair, tickling my cheek woke me. Did I leave the window open? That’s when I realized the music was still playing. How
could that be? My vision was blurred from crying myself to sleep. I rubbed my eyes. That’s when I noticed that the book
sat precisely on the shelf where I originally found it and I was still grasping the little golden key in my hand. Was it all
just a dream?
I walked over to the bookcase and picked up the book, I wanted to read it. Try to understand why
my Grandmother needed so desperately to imagine another life for herself, for me. Maybe the answers were in the book?
That’s when I saw it! A little golden key hole in the bookcase behind where the book sat! Could it be? “Grandmother,
I need to believe in you,” I cried as I slowly turned the key. I heard a soft click and the bookcase became slightly
ajar, the narrow opening illuminating a bright light. I slowly opened the passage just wide enough to slip through.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was standing in the Library of Grandmother’s stories. The bright sunlight
blinded me for a moment, but once my eyes adjusted, I stood in awe of the hundreds of soft leather bound books with gold lettering
that lined the bookcases. Huge wood framed windows overlooked the fields. Just like grandmother described! I went and opened
the windows widely, just as she would have done. As I turned around I caught my reflection in a gold-framed mirror, and for
a moment I didn’t recognize myself. Then I realized that another reflection shared the mirror with me. “Father
Time is that you?" I whispered.
I turned around, Father Time! It is you, isn't it? I greeted him with
a smile as I gently tickled my fingers down his grand, but motionless face! “Where is my Grandmother today
Father Time?” I asked hopeful. He seemed to be amused. I sat on the floor in front of the massive grandfather clock
and on the floor in front of me, pushed half under the base of the clock, lay a book; Paintings Of The Heart. I opened the
book and for a moment my heart stood still.
The beautiful book held hundreds of my Grandfather’s paintings!
Each a glorious work of art! Grandmother looked radiant in every painting, her love of life, her love for him, sparkled in
every stroke just as Grandfather's blue eyes! Oh he was handsome!
But... I thought Grandmom said he never painted
himself into the pictures? As I flipped to the last page, I recognized the happy child swinging between the hands of my smiling
grandparents as they strolled through the field of wild flowers leading up to the house, her hair gently blowing against her
cheeks. “But how could that be? I never met my grandfather!” I cried aloud, full of confusion and grief.
"Grandmother! I need you! I need to believe in you! I need to understand!" I sobbed.
I smelt jasmine. Was it only my imagination, or was something magical in the air? I suddenly felt sleepy, too sleepy to even
sit up. I don’t know how long I slept there on the floor in front of Father Time before the massive vibration of his
chimes woke me; five, six, seven. Then I heard my grandmother’s voice! “Where are you child?”
“Grandmother?” When I looked up she was standing in the doorway! Just as
I had remembered her! “There you are child! Come my little one, your grandfather is waiting anxiously on
the porch swing for story time to begin.” I ran and threw my arms around her. She hugged me tight,
looked down into my eyes and said with a smile, “thank you for believing in me granddaughter.” Then
she took my hand and led me outside to meet my grandfather!