- Family and Parenting
Personal Memories Of A Grandmother
Gra’ma, I’m missing you tonight. I think a part of me always misses you but it’s rare for me to just stop for a while and spend time remembering. I was working on the family tree when I noticed the notes I had written under your name. You've been gone for a long time, thirty years to be exact. It feels like longer than that. It would be cruel of me to wish you back here with us because you were so sick those last few weeks, but I’d sure like to have one more weekend with you.
Do you remember them, all those weekends I spent with you when I was just a little girl? There weren't many weekends I didn't stay with you. You were the best Gra’ma and we had so much fun together. I thought I was your favorite because I was your only granddaughter and the oldest grandchild. Maybe I wasn't but you made me think I was.
We sure laughed a lot, didn't we? The men loved you and after you left the jack-ass, your phone never stopped ringing. They all wanted to take you square dancing and I got the biggest kick from all their calls. Oh how you teased and laughed at them but they loved you because you were a lady - in every sense of the word. For such a strong woman, you were so prissy. You could sit at that sewing machine, on the third floor of that hot old shoe factory, and sweat like a ditch-digger. Then, you'd come home, you fix a cup of tea and sip tea from that fragile little china cup - like a real English lady. I thought that was so funny; you sitting there all dolled up with that china cup in your hand. You took your tea with two of those tiny little saccharin tablets and a bit of milk. I’m not sure the English ladies did that but I know you held your pinky out just like they did.
I wonder if you remember our Saturday night sleep overs. I felt so grown up when you taught me to pin curl your hair out there on the porch. You said if I did a good job, there’d be an RC Co-Cola in a bottle and a Moon Pie waiting for me. I must have done a good job. We’d eat those Moon Pies while we rocked back and forth on that porch swing trying to keep time with the music from the Pentecostal Church next door. They were too fast though. You called em’ Holy Rollers and boy did they make some noise.
Even now I can close my eyes and smell the sweet fragrance of the lilac bush behind the porch swing. I still love lilacs Gra’ma. Your favorite was those blue snowball bushes. I never told you but I thought they were ugly. I don’t know, I just always thought flowers should be dainty and delicate. The snowball bushes were just too big for my taste. I got my green thumb from you Gra’ma. I’m sure of it. Just like you, I can take a branch from a Forsythia bush and bend it to the ground, step on it and push it into the dirt and a new bush will grow from it.
Did you know you were the first to let me drive? It’s true. I couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven and you let me sit in your lap and steer. Remember? You had that funny little Plymouth Valiant with the push buttons on the dash board instead of a shifter on the column. I couldn’t understand why Dad’s cars didn’t have push buttons. That Valiant was so cool in the dark with those buttons lit up. It was like sitting in a space ship, way back then.
Mom and I were talking the other day and remembering. I told her how I loved all your hats. Each one had its own box and for a poor lady, you had some really fancy hats. They had their own room in your house and you kept the heat turned off in that room. It was cold and smelled like moth balls but I loved sneaking in there to try on your hats. You always acted like you didn’t know I’d been in there. I was too young to know that the talcum powder you always spilled on the floor stuck to my feet and that it was my little footprints that gave me away. You were so cool.
It’s getting late and I should go but I just needed to remember tonight. I wanted to spend one more night with you Gra’ma. You know, all these memories you gave me made it easy. Maybe I’ll come back again real soon. Night Gra’ma.
© 2012 Linda Crist
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