The Inheritance ~ Ch 4~
(If you missed the other chapters, you will want to start here.)
Penny stood at the casket of her Grandmother and rubbed the top. The rich patina of the wood was so beautiful. But then, that just seemed right, everything about her grandmother was beautiful.
As she watched them come to prepare to place her casket into the caves, Penny thought back to the gift that Grandmum had given her just a few days ago. She remembered with such clarity the oddness of the evening…..
Penny was sitting in her bedroom drawing – her favorite thing to do – with the light of the oil lamp spilling onto her desk top. She was playing with the colors trying to capture the beauty of the sunset she had seen that night onto the paper. They were being so fractious. “Blue, I’m telling you, I am the artist here – you MUST obey me and become just the right shade for me.”
She giggled. It always seemed so silly talking to her colors. But after years of hearing her own Grandmum speaking to her yarns and threads as she was creating, it had just become a habit. And if the glorious beauty of Grandmum’s creativity was any reflection, then this was what she should be doing, too.
She could remember Grandmum speaking to her tools for as far back as her memory stretched. She was pretty certain that others would find it frighteningly odd, Penny just found it comforting. But she had an understanding of why Grandmum did it – she could remember Grandmum’s response when she asked about it.
“Why dear, our Creator has called us to subdue all that He has created, and by gum, I’m going to do so! If that yarn is being cantankerous, I’m going to remind it that I’m the one that the Creator has placed His creativity into.”
“Does it help?” Penny asked.
“It helps me, and that’s enough. It reminds me that I am gifted by the Most High and it reminds me that I do have His creativity in me and that I can glorify Him with the work of my hands.”
She was just recalling that conversation from long ago when the woman who was the object of her memories knocked quietly at the door. “Hello, my Darling. May I come in?”
Penny brushed the wadded up papers off her bed saying, “Of course! I love having you visit my cubby hole.” She smiled and kissed the top of her Grandmum’s head. “What brings you up the stairs to my sanctuary?”
Grandmother held her hand and stared into her eyes – so like her own – and said, “I’m going away, Sweetheart. I can tell. I was able to tell last time and I can tell it again. But, before I go, I have something I want to give you – actually I have two things I want to give you. One is in this box.” She held out the beautiful toile box that always sat on her dresser. “The other is a story. It’s a long story – but an important one. May I share it with you now?”
From there, Grandmum told Penny of her youth working in the bath house in Ville D’eau and how she had loved The Mirror and the beauty it had brought to her life. She spoke of the people in the village and their kindness to her – but she always came back to talk again of The Mirror. Penny wondered what her grandmother’s attraction to this mirror could be. It was almost creepy.
Penelope spoke of the night she knew that she had to leave, she talked of running into the bitter cold of the night, of hearing a heart-breaking cry that caused her to turn back to the direction of the very place she was fleeing from – and she told of the shard of glass that pierced the side of her neck and caused her to fall into the snow, unconscious.
She told of the young man out hunting that found her lying in the snow and how he took her back to his mother for healing. She told of the love that blossomed between them, she told of the amazing gift that this shard of mirrored glass gave her – her voice. As she spoke, the tears spilled down her beautiful old cheeks – and Penny’s as well.
Long into the night she shared. The many magnificent pieces of her life tumbled from her mouth -the two held hands tightly – loving one another with their eyes. Penny knew that this was a powerful gift being given to her – time. Time with Grandmum before she passed. She didn’t want to miss even one second of this time.
As they watched the sun rising over the trees, from the window of Penny’s little room Grandmum handed her the box. “Penny, this is my shard. I want you to have it. You’re the only one who will appreciate it or understand it. Please guard it with your life. It’s so much more than I understood in those early years. I knew it was special, but I didn’t have any clue.”
As she said those words, she opened the box. The Mirror caught the morning sunlight and the room was filled with its glory. For one brief second, as she looked at her grandmother, Penny could see her as a young woman – her youth restored. Just as quickly as it happened, it was gone, but the impression of the beauty of her grandmother remained burned in her memory.
Penelope spent all that day preparing for her next trip. One that she greatly anticipated and delighted in. The only part of this leaving was the sorrow of leaving her precious Penny behind – but she had equipped her as best she could for all that life might hand her. Beyond that, all that Penelope could think of was the impending meeting with the young man who had rescued her in the snow – and his introducing her to his Father, just as he had done all those years ago, when he introduced her to his Savior.
The next morning Penny found Penelope, all dressed in her favorite sweater, her walking coat on, her hiking boots tied on her feet, sitting in the chair in the living room, Bible in her lap, smile on her face – eyes closed and breathing stopped. It was so right that she should find her that way.
Penny reached her hand out one last time to touch the box that held the final ties of her Grandmum to this temporal state. She was so glad for her, that she was be free of it. She knew how much Penelope had longed to be back with her husband, and her Lord . In that, there was joy for Penny in the midst of her pain.