Thursday, February 27, 2020

"The Scrapbook Grandma Made For Me"

Until Resurrection Day...

I picked my grandchildren up from Catholic school yesterday and was greeted by their smiling faces and ash smudges on their foreheads. It was Ash Wednesday. I was reminded of a conversation we had last year during Lent and the following poem that our conversation inspired...

My paternal grandmother, Anna Maude Walsh


I picked up my grandchildren
at Saint Mary’s elementary school
They tossed their heavy backpacks
into the back of the car
got in and fastened their seatbelts
They know the routine—
don’t need to be reminded anymore

As we drove off
I could hear them in the back seat
talking about Lent and fasting
Dean and Alana gave up electronics
Their big brother Logan
now in high school
gave up chocolate
Dean asked, “Grandma
what did you give up?”

I told Dean I didn’t give up
anything this Lent, instead
I give Jesus a gift of new poems—
Some days I spend quiet time
writing poems that give glory to Him
and every day I post
a Lenten poem on my blog
Dean said, “Wow! That’s a lot
of poems, Grandma!”

I explained that it’s perfectly fine
to give up things for 40 days, but
sometimes people do other things
like donating to a charity
or visiting the sick
or baking cookies for an elderly neighbor
anything that draws them closer to God

Then I thought about my own grandmother—
She lived next door
when I was growing up
Grandma loved the Lord
and often talked to me about Him
She even made me a special scrapbook
with a cardboard cover
that she decorated with flowers
she carefully cut
from a Burpee seed catalog
The scrapbook contained pictures of children
kittens and puppies, and Howdy Doody
but more importantly, it contained
the 11 chapter story by Charles Dickens
that he wrote for his children in the 1840s
called, The Life of Our Lord
The story was published as a serial
in the Paterson Morning Call, in the 1950s

I still have that scrapbook
still appreciate that Grandma took the time
to make it just for me

It’s the kind of thing grandmas do—
Important things like that

Maude Carolan Pych

The above poem is published in my new book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!" Elm Hill Press. For more information go to

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