Today is the day I honor Onie Kelley, my grandmother. It is the anniversary of her birth, 109 years ago. Unfortunately, she died in 1985…and I miss her to this day. Gram Kelley was loved and respected by everyone who knew her. She was kind and honest and caring and giving. But, on top of that, she was the best Grandma that anyone could hope to have.
Living in the apartment upstairs of where we grew up, she was always available to meet our needs. Whatever we needed, she gave. Pieces of candy, slices of cheese, strawberry soda in little glass bottles, windmill cookies, but most of all, her time. She taught us how to crochet. She played cards with us. We ironed her handkerchiefs. We gossiped with her. She listened to us. We watered her plants. We loved her. She never took lessons, couldn’t read music, but she played the organ.
She gave me something that I cherish more than everything else I have. A 33x42 inch filet crochet of the Lord’s Prayer. Gram started it around the year 1950 when she sat at my aunt's bedside (my aunt was bedridden with nephritis). I'm not sure if it was framed immediately upon completion, but has been as long as I can remember. When I was about 11 years old, I started making comments to Gram about it..."Gram, when you die, may I have that?" Needless to say, my family was appalled by my behavior. However, it wasn't long before Gram wrote my name on a piece of paper and taped it to the back of the frame...her way of saying that it WAS to be mine. I found that out when I was about 18 years of age, but I didn't quit pestering her about it. My aunts thought I was a very rude young person...but, HEY!...you see whose wall it's hanging on! I didn't have to wait until Gram died to have this beautiful piece in my home, either. She gave it to me several years before she left us. Thank you, Gram.
Holidays were a huge event at Gram’s house. She did most of the cooking herself. The tables were covered with linen tablecloths, and we had matching linen napkins to use. (I have those linen tablecloths and napkins.) The tables were set with Gram’s best china and crystal. The food was delicious and always plentiful.
She had a huge salt and pepper shaker collection that was contained in a curved glass china cupboard. She had a chicken collection that took up all of the available space in her kitchen. Plants thrived under her green thumb. I especially remember her violets lining the window sills…always beautiful.
I will never know another woman like her. She was unique. She was loved. She was my Gram.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11