Our household inherited Aunt Gracie’s little lavender and white afghan sometime after my mother-in-law, Rosalie Kathleen Underwood, passed away September 17, 2015.

My father-in-law called her “Rose.” She didn’t like me to say “Mrs. Underwood,” so I addressed her as “Mom” as my husband did. She never objected.

She named herself “Gramma Rosie” to our children. Goodness, how she loved to play possum on the living room sofa when we arrived from our long drive to their door in Grand Rapids.

Our girls knew her game. They ran to the vintage coffee grinder she placed against the wall by the television in the living room, filled with Hershey kisses.

Now, she purposely chose those foil-wrapped chocolates, for her only living brother and sister-in-law (Gracie) lived near Hershey, PA. Furthermore, our family of three little girls had previously vacationed at Uncle Len’s and Aunt Gracie’s home one summer. That’s when we toured the famous Hershey factory surrounded by beautiful Amish country. Uncle Len amused us by using the long “A” sound for “Amish.”

The second the girls touched Grandma Rosie’s coffee grinder, she’d jump up from the sofa. “Caught cha’!” she’d say playfully.

Those delightful years passed all too swiftly as her granddaughters left the nest, one by one. Gramma Rosie playing possum on the living room sofa fell into silent memory. Thankfully, Gramma Rosie never lost her “marbles” as she’d say, as did Nana, my mother.

After Grandpa Underwood passed, Gramma Rosie’s two younger sons provided their mother with the latest electronic devices, programs, and lessons. Emails replaced her letters. She ordered product online rather than shopped, attended mass online, and self-diagnosed her illnesses by symptoms.

She praised her younger boys who “rigged up” a pocket to her walker where she kept her ipad. She “klunked” room to room until she could no longer.

Perhaps I saw Aunt Gracie’s lavender and white afghan on Mom’s lap during her two weeks as resident of Marywood Health Center. She must’ve found some comfort in her sister-in-law’s thoughtful gift, for she seemed at peace, and soon left this world.

A multi-purpose, cozy blanket, Aunt Gracie’s gift is the perfect size for covering the chair arms and cushions where our pets nap. And when a winter chill seizes me, if the blanket isn’t occupied by Mitty or Cuddles, I throw it over my shoulders like a shawl.

Washable and lightweight, the color hasn’t faded from washing and sunlight. The durable yarn withstands our cat’s and granddog’s claws.

More so, the lightweight fabric washes and dries quickly. And never wrinkles.

Dear Reader, in this season of my life where I’ve accumulated my portion of my parents’ belongings, including my in-law’s, many treasures remain packed away, out of sight. But not forgotten.

Each item tells a story, such as my father’s Polaroid camera. However, Aunt Gracie’s afghan still serves many purposes in my household. Mitty and Cuddles, inseparable sisters, are glad about that. And so is Lily, our granddog.

Contact Iris at: irisfarmletters@gmail.com