Friday, August 20, 2010
My Grandmother was lovingly called Granny, known to others as Pauline but she was always Granny to us. Annie Pauline would be 100 years old today if she were still alive. Childhood memories swim through my head with visions of all the things I treasure in my relationship with her. I was lucky enough to be the first grandchild. In her world that was an honored position. A standing that allowed me to be the one to share her bed at sleepovers on Friday nights when her grandchildren would all show up at her home. I got to play in her perfumes and sit on the floor in her second bedroom and open up all the tiny Avon lipstick samples. She allowed me to walk across the pink Formica counter tops in the kitchen of her small trailer and to stand on top of her built-in dressers and enclose myself with the sliding closet doors. It was always okay that I would walk around the outside of the trailer rubbing my hand on the paint to watch it come off in my hand. She always cleaned me up and I have no memories of her being unhappy about it!
She nourished me with green beans she would cook all day seasoned with bacon grease, butter and sugar. My favorites were cheeseburgers she would fry in an iron skillet and her cold Dr. Pepper's in glass bottles. Heavenly cooked chocolate pies and always a bowl of miniature Reese's on the kitchen table will be things I will never forget. She gave me home manicures as a child. At the time I thought she was just picking on my fingers with her assortment of little metal tools. I never cared much for the pushing on my cuticles and clipping of hangnails etc... but I did love the first coat of nail strengthener, the second coat of polish and the third shiny top coat!
She had several homes over the years. She grew up on a farm in Arkansas, later had her own farm with my Grandfather. They then moved to Missouri and their adult children and other relatives followed them. After grandpa passed away while in his 50's she moved in with her only daughter, then later to a trailer park, then back in with my aunt and later to assisted living. In poor health she spent her last couple of years in a nursing home. My dad and aunt spent many hours with her there. Dad helping her in the cafeteria and my aunt lovingly taking care of her personal needs. My aunt always took special care of her fingernails knowing that was always very important to Granny.
Those last couple of years are ones that I wish I could re-live. I regret that I did not spend more time with her while she was there, laying in her bed or sitting in her wheelchair at the nurse's station. I was only thirty minutes away raising school age children, going to baseball games and PTA meetings. She must have had some lonely moments. Moments when she reflected back on her life. I'm sure she had some sweet memories and had many blessings to be thankful for. Late one evening in 2001, my aunt, cousin and myself sat around her bed listening to her breathing patterns change as she slowly drifted away from this world and into the arms of God. That was a moment I was so thankful to be a part of. Today, I reflect back on my sweet memories. Happy birthday Granny. I wish you could have made it to this day in time !