Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Two Graces

The first Grace in my life was my grandmother, Grace Theresa Romeo. We called her Nana.

Nana loved to bake. She was famous for her chocolate chip cookies, that always came out square instead of round, no matter how she placed the dough. For every single holiday, we would have a cookie-baking day at Nana's house, with all seven grandchildren. Each of us had a special job in creating the sprinkled cut-out cookies. I was the eldest grandchild, and my job was to use a thick pastry brush to sweep an egg wash over the cookies before the younger children attacked them with multiple varieties of sprinkles.

I can still feel that pastry brush in my hand, and remember the exact spot I would sit at her small kitchen table. I remember searching through the dozens of metal cookie-cutters and finding all the holiday-appropriate ones to hand out to my cousins...and sometimes slipping in a Santa at Easter or a turkey for Christmas, just to hear everyone giggle about how silly it was.

As we got older, sometimes the little jobs we had would change, but one job that always remained the same was Nana's - rolling out the dough with her wooden rolling pin.

She was an amazingly special person and a huge influence in my life. All she ever wanted was to be around to make it to my wedding...which she did. She passed away nine months later. My only wish is that she could have met my children. I'm very fortunate to have in my possession that very same wooden rolling pin. Only now, I use it with the second Grace in my life.

And every time we use it...
I can only think of how...

The two Graces would really have enjoyed baking together.

11 comments:

Kim said...

Thank you for making me cry at work. Seriously that was the most beautiful post Emily. I too wish my grandmother could have met Preston-oh how he would have lit up her life. She lived for her grandchildren. How absolutely amazing that you have her rolling pin and wow-ok I am still wiping away tears. It is fabulous that you can still carry out this tradition. MIss you guys so much!

Destini said...

Yeah, I'm crying at work too. Beautiful post. I also wish my grandma could have met my kids, she lived across the street from us and pretty much raised me. It's amazing how those memories are so strong!

Jaime said...

I can at least wipe away the tears in the privacy of my own home. What a beautiful post and a wonderful tradition you and your Grace have. I too wish that my grandma could have been able to meet my Caty and Hanna. It's been 9 years since she passed away and I still carry a note that she wrote me in my wallet. It just says a simply "I love you" but I love seeing it from time to time. Grandmothers are special people!

Anonymous said...

thanks for making me cry em!! love my gracie and miss my nana
-chach

Kasia and Amelia said...

Beautiful Christmas post! I also love Christmas Cookies and we are going to bake them this Sunday! Can't wait. It truly gets me into the holiday spirit!
Merry Christmas!

Caden and Mommy said...

What a sweet post ... and adorable pictures of your little Grace :0)

Poppy said...

I didn't know the legend of the roller ! I miss Nana very much - but I know you just made her smile down on all of us a little more !

Melisa said...

That was such a sweet post! Made me cry. I'm sure Nana Grace is smiling down on the beautiful second Grace in your life.

Melissa Swartley said...

Oh tears!!! This was such a sweet post to read! Thank you for sharing!!! How awesome that you have the special rolling pin and now Grace #2 gets to put it to work! I bet your Nana is smiling!!!

Greene Family said...

So very sweet!! I'm in tears like everyone else! That is a wonderful tradition to carry on with Grace #2! She is an absolute adorable baker, and I'm sure your Nana is smiling as she watches you two bake!
Merry Christmas!!

Danielle said...

What a beautiful post :) I miss my grandmothers so much, both passed away before I got married, although one did get to at least meet Keith. What a special tradition you have to pass down to your Grace.