Her Story Told.

Theresa Carmella Mollise` Zorn


A memory that will linger in my mind forever, is that of my grandmother's voice saying "Hidey!" whenever we entered her home. She was always so happy to see us.

Driving home from the hospital on Saturday, I couldn't help but think of regrets. As we all do, when someone we love dies, we search our memory for things we might have left undone, unsaid, that we wish we could go back and change. Did we see this person as much as we would have liked before they left us? Did we get to say I love you and goodbye?

Fortunately for me, I got to do those things.

We lived through the woods from my grandmother. I guess that old song - Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House we go - would apply to me. She was always right there. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that I saw her every day for 18 years of my life. Not only was I named after her, but I was, as she used to say, the joy of her heart.

She was with us every Holiday. Every time I had a birthday, she was there. And every time she had one, we were with her. I have wonderful memories of hunting Easter eggs at her house, and Christmas mornings with her in our living room, playing with our toys. Every year we sang The Twelve Days of Christmas as a family, and every time it got to my grandmother, even though I think she always knew in the back of her mind what came next, she would always pretend like she had forgotten and say something absolutely silly like -" Seven ..... people ..... waving", just to make us all laugh. Those are precious memories that will never leave my heart.

No, I don't regret the time I spent with my grandmother. It was plentiful and meaningful.

And I don't regret how she left us. We were all gathered around her hospital bed, so she would not feel alone. Someone on each side holding her hand. I got to tell my grandmother that I loved her, and goodbye. I got to "rub noses" with her, which she always loved to do to me for as long as I can remember. At one point, when everyone left the room to speak with the doctor, I got very close to her face and sang Amazing Grace to her as I rubbed her hair. She couldn't respond, but I know she could hear me. And I held her hand, praying, as she took her final breath.

In that very moment I thought of a video that I watched just weeks prior. A video about the first breath we take when we are born, and the last one we take when we die. And the man in the video explains that the name of God in Hebrew is YHWH which we pronounce "Yahweh". This man says that these letters were more like the sound of breathing. And that every breath we take, we breathe the name of God. And I stood there with my grandmother as she breathed the name of God one last time before her soul could have some rest. This thought was so comforting.

No, I didn't have any regrets about how I got to say goodbye to my grandmother.

But as the drive seemed to carry on and on, I started to wonder about how well I knew Theresa Zorn. Not Theresa Zorn the grandmother, but Theresa Zorn the person.

That was my regret.

As children all we can see is the role that family members play in our lives. We don't quite understand that we are characters in their lives, as well. That they were someone long before we, their grandchildren, came along and even before their children. Then, when we become adults, life gets too "busy" to ask questions about the past and to listen to stories of people and places we have never known. I wished at that moment that I would have gotten to know my grandmother. To REALLY know her, .... what she loved, what made her happy. What gave her joy.

And then I realized....

I already knew.

" So I'll put my fingers in this soil upon her grave
And I will plant for her a garden
And every flower, a reminder of her face
Will grow up graceful as a pardon
And all that grows is her story told
As life unfolds here before us
The peace we've found in this broken ground 

I can see her in the harvest...of all that I have sown "

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1 comment :

  1. Beautiful lady whose legacy is living on through her namesake..


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