Grandma Henriksen


My grandparents built this house and all of my mother's childhood memories of home are here.

Pine Tree Drive.

My grandparents have 9 children. My grandma gave birth 9 times.

One of those babies never made it home from the hospital, my Aunt April.

The whole family would sit at the big family table for dinner.

My Grandpa used to tell us he liked doing he hummed melodies and tried to flick us with dish towels.

The main bathroom upstairs had a laundry shoot. We weren't suppose to go down it, so we all did.

My Grandma kept her lipstick in the cupboard. I would open up the tube and take sniffs because I liked the smell of grown-up stuff.

They also had a toothbrush for every single one of their grandkids. I am pretty sure they have 44 grandkids (but I lose count).

They had, what felt like, hundreds of music boxes. The wood chopping one was my favorite.

There are always orangecicles in the garage freezer.

Poppies always bloom in the spring.

I had sleepovers with my cousins there. My Grandma would put us to bed with warm milk and leave surprises under our pillows.

Bacon and cantaloupe will always remind me of breakfast in their house. Floating pancakes too.

The tin of goldfish never runs dry.

When I was in the basement laundry room staring at that wallpaper I always kind of felt like I had gotten into a time machine.

We reenacted the nativity on Christmas Eves in the downstairs family room.

We watched The Littlest Angel on the TV.

Heartbroken, after getting divorced, I moved into that basement. I would cry myself to sleep feeling comforted by the fact that my mom had slept in that same room as a child and used the same bathroom. One Sunday morning while I was living there I climbed into bed with my Grandma and we watched Music and the Spoken Word and I asked her all about what it was like to give birth to her babies. I asked her how she felt after my Grandpa died. She missed him and so did I. I am grateful I had that morning.

A lot of these images won't make sense to everyone...but that's OK. They make sense to me and probably to my cousins.

Happy 90th birthday to my sweet amazing maternal Grandmother. Thank you for saying that every age is your favorite and that life just keeps getting better and better. Thank you for giving us our daughter's middle name. Thank you for talking nonstop about Fiji and prophets. Thank you for being such a bright happy spot in my life. Thank you loving me and letting me know I matter to you when so many people do. When I am one on one with you I always feel like the favorite. That's what makes you magic.