I don’t know who made this colorful cloth heart. There’s a neatly hand-stitched plain lavender interface border on the back.

It was in with the diary belonging to one of my aunts. So, I like to think it might have been created by the grandmother I never met. My aunt was more into crocheting afghans.

There were only a few specific comments I heard about my dad‘s mother, who died well before I was born. A distant relative once said that my grandparents met at a dance, and that my grandmother was overheard to have said, “I’m going to get me that guy in the pink shirt.”

My grandmother was Scottish, my grandfather was English. I heard that her mother-in-law did not approve of her daughter-in-law driving the buggy without wearing gloves.

My grandmothers both went to the same church. I remember my mother saying she could recall the two ladies greeting each other by name — they had the same name. I enjoy imagining that, partly because I’m named after them, both of them.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

When my husband and I were home for my grandmothers’ oldest great-granddaughter‘s wedding, we went to the local historical society in the basement of the public library. There happened to be quilts on display. I found one from the church I attended, which had both of my grandmothers’ signatures delicately scripted in colorful cursive stitches placed neatly in white space among colorful squares about an inch in diameter.

Recently, I came across an old picture of the grandparents I never met. It was a great advantage to be able to take a picture of the picture on my phone and then enlarge it. I could clearly see in the shadow of her hat that there was definitely a little bit of a Mona Lisa smile. My grandmother was reclining slightly on a raised flowerbed and her husband, sporting his big Burt Reynolds mustache and Sunday hat and suit, was leaning toward her with one foot up on the edge. It almost looks like courtship.

One of the last lines in a poem taped in the front of my aunt’s diary extolling the virtues of impulsive unstructured and unspoken prayer reads, “Effulgently of blessings, old and new...”

Light shines on.