MEMORIES OF GEORGIA - My Grandmother
Another Year....A Dedication To My Grandmother...
Another day and another hour, thinking of the times in my childhood in the South eating grapes from your vines on that long wooden fence. You were the light in my night and when mom disappeared one day suddenly...you gave me hope.
I will never forget the meals that you cooked just for me and all of the treats left in the cookie jar for me to feast on over and over again. Afterall I was trying to heal my childhood pain and you gave me the recipe for happiness one word at a time. Thank you.
You had known of my dispair and your tender voice always brought me a big sense of calm even as I grew into an adult. I remember my times in Georgia in Stone Mountain with cousins and then our visits to that small town Lawrenceville so long ago. Aunt Junie and Corribelle with their floral dresses, pretty hats and that lovely old-fashioned porch. All of my aunts names ended with an "e" and then I soon lost track of the names of all your Southern friends. They all sounded like names in a very famous novel that I had not read yet. Afterall I was still too young to read a book with so many words. I remember Myrtle for her lovely rum balls that she made just for you each and every year, even when you moved to California to help raise me. She never missed a year to send you her homemade treats and you always shared them with your close friends and family. As the priest at your funeral many years ago stated as he wiped a tear from his eye, "you could never be replaced." Never.
When I think of my childhood I think of all of the pretty china and tea in Lawrenceville in that old house and then in your home many years later when you moved to be closer to me. I remember the many trips down to the lake when I was young to spend time with family and the adventures out on the boats near Stone Mountain. Ofcourse I will never forget catching fireflies in the dark. I often wonder what my life would be like if mom was still alive and living there in the South?
This part of my history so in the past yet so much a part of my inner map of who I am. Since mom, your only daughter was an authentic Southern Bell, would I have been more like her if she raised me? Would I have less "gold" in my heart that was placed there by people with different desires growing up in Hollywood, California? Would I have been nurtured and not abandoned by a woman who brought me to this world. Would I be "who I am now" if she decided to stick around?
Deep down, I know that I would be "who I am" nomatter what and because of you I was forever loved. Your "faith" is what helped me become me because nomatter how much pain you felt losing your husband and then your only daughter, you held strong. It was never in a loud voice or in your walk or struggles. It was always in your voice and the way you let me know in little ways. When you left this earth a few days after I got the call from you on January 1st, I heard the panic in your voice, but you stood strong still. You called me because you knew that I was like you, strong in faith and spirit and I learned from the best.
Many years later I sit here today writing about how much you meant to me. I often think of you and your lovely voice messages on my voicemail when I was busy and wonder what sort of great dessert you are cooking up right now. I guess I sort of call this writing "Ode To the Old." My memories of you so long ago. Thank you for what you gave me. I am forever blessed to have had you in my life. You were a fantastic grandmother, mother and friend.