Mercies for Max

This is my mother’s mom, June. She was a great lady and we were all very close to her until she died in 2002. We used to visit her in the summer and she would pick us up from the airport and shuttle us down to BYU for a sports or music camp. Sometimes she would spend Christmas with us and in the morning she always wore a housecoat with a plastic curler above each ear. She would make us eggs and like a whole loaf of toast with butter from a tub. She was classy and refined and even hosted a program on the radio in the 1940’s. She had the most contagious giggle.

June had five children- my mom is fourth on that list, the only girl with four brothers. I always knew that June had some difficult times in her life. Her first son, Craig, died of leukemia when he was five. Two years later, her three year-old Robbie was hit by a car and buried next to his brother. She lost two children in two years.
She and I always had a lot in common, and I always felt a special connection to her like we were kindred spirits. She and I like the same pie, warmed up and a la mode. I have her curly toes and meaty hands.
For weeks after Maxwell died, I had trouble sleeping. Being awake was like a bad dream- sleep was a relief from that, but it was hard to clear my mind long enough to actually fall asleep. One night I dreamed I was with Grandma June again. We were in our old El Vista Street house where I grew up. She was in the kitchen with me, in her housecoat and fresh hair and pink round fingernails. We were baking. She knew I was sad. I don’t remember much else of the dream except that she said to me, “Well, I sure do miss my girls but I’ve got all the boys here.”

I have no doubt that Grandma June is tending to Maxwell for me until I can get there. My boy and her boys. I never talked to her in depth about losing her children, and now I wish I could call her up and have a good long talk. We are part of the same club, she and I. Of all the women I know, she is special to me and it brings such comfort to know that she is on the other side with Max. Sometimes I look for Max in the world around me, and sometimes his little messages come in my dreams. Tender mercies.

Three months have come and gone, and not a day goes by that tears are not shed missing that baby of mine.

2 thoughts on “Mercies for Max

  1. Your posts always make me cry. One day it will get a little easier. I promise. But let yourself be sad and cry as long as you want and need. You can do hard things! You're an inspiration. Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

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  2. Thanks for this sweet post. Many tears were shed, especially when I saw this beautiful picture of Aunt June. I miss her so much – my mom misses her like crazy. She was a favorite! She'd love to have me (and roommates) come over and hang out when I was attending BYU. She was always gracious and FUN. btw, she still was hosting a radio program, even into the 1970's. She had a regular gig where she'd call into one of the Provo stations (can't remember which), and do a little 5 minute “American Fork News with June Chipman”. Loved it! I remember going many times to the cemetery to see those little graves of my cousins. I can't wait to get to know them someday.

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