Ten long days after Hayden was diagnosed with cancer, we were able to return home to prepare for her surgery. The whirlwind of thoughts and emotions made it almost impossible to function. There were far more unanswered questions than answered ones. The only things we knew for sure: Hayden had a rare and aggressive cancer; God is good.
Once home, Hayden wanted to visit as many of the people she loved as possible. Her grandmother Mame was at the top of her list. Mame adored Hayden and Chandler because my daughters were the first little girls born into the Crebbin family in several generations of men. Not just men, but rugged, logging and farming type men, with calloused hands and dirt under their nails.
After rearing four boys, to say the little granddaughters were adored and pampered would be an understatement. Hayden was called Princess, and Chandler was known as Duchess. But who could blame Mame for doting on them? They were perhaps the sweetest and most enchanting little cherubs ever born. (yeah, I know, but I'm writing this)
For the girls, a visit to Mame's house would go something like this. Mame would get out the fine china teapot, set out teacups covered with dainty flowers and gold embellishments, make finger sandwiches with the crust cut off and use the cream-colored lace napkins. Pinkies up, girls! Some days hats and real fur coats would come out of the closet, and they would drink and eat and play gin rummy for hours, just as proper ladies should.
You can see why Mame was loved and adored by my girls, and when it was time to part, Mame would say, "I love you," and the girls would finish with, "a bushel and a peck." I love you, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.
I don't know if the Hayden even knew what that saying meant, but it didn't matter to her. Her heart knew it meant – "all the love in the world to you, my darling girls.”
'I love you a bushel and a peck'
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