For the longest time…I had TWO grandmas. I was so proud of that. I didn’t know my maternal grandfather. My paternal grandfather…I knew barely. So, I loved that I had a power duo of the grand kind!
Growing up, my grandmothers from time to time hung out…drinking Miller beer in front of my maternal grandmother’s store front walk-up apartment. Not too long after they’d both find God and become Christian women deeply seated in their churches’ congregations. For as long as I can remember, they attended church for the most part and took care of their families.
My mother’s mother. My earliest memories of her are when she’d babysit for me while my mother was at work. She and my mom’s only sister, Iris…would take care of me and my younger sister. I remember Apple Jacks at her breakfast table and playing in her living room with my cousins and uncles…the latter which were only 7 & 8 years older than me. My “Grandma Catherine” as I’ve always called her when differentiating, was always the sterner of the two. She to this day…is a hard nut to crack. She can be downright mean at times…some would say evil with the things she’s prone to say. Yet, with me…I’ve learned to love her past those things. She can be tender and caring…but it takes a little cajoling and a lot of understanding. I’ve always been straight no-chaser with her…not allowing her to get away with some of the things that make it hard for some to connect with her. I do see her softening a LITTLE with age, but she’s still got that Taurean bullishness that can sometimes push folk away.
Lately, all I can do is take each moment I can with her…especially since. I’ve only got ONE G now.
My father’s mother. She died this year. March 2nd, 2010. I’m a LOT better than I was. Some days I woke up crying…and fell asleep that way. I have to admit that each time it wasn’t JUST my grief…but, the other things were just weights on top of a ton of pain. When she left here…a part of me left, too.
My earliest memories of her were in her apartment in the projects. Sometime ago, the projects was a beautiful, green, gleeful place. Where she lived, kids played freely. Parents watched over all of the kids…not just their own. No nonsense was allowed…if you weren’t supposed to be in that playground (read: no pervs, thugs, etc.) …you were told to go. It was a place where the kids could play outside AFTER the street lights came on…and I miss that in today’s communities. I lived with her for a long time during my grade school years. My lunch box was filled with FOOD. Not a sandwich (which sometimes my kid mind preferred)…but, I’m talking a warm cheeseburger and chocolate milk. I’m talking a meatloaf sandwich with cheese. I’ve lunched on BBQ chicken wings. There was always a Twinkie or a Hostess cupcake in my lunch. Damn, I realized that she might have contributed to my “thickness” as a child. LMAO. Funny thing…I was a celery and carrot stick girl. I loved granola bars and oatmeal. To this day, I can’t stand processed sweets. If it’s not homemade, I’ll bypass it. I definitely prefer a pear to a pie…but, watching grandma…I learned to love the WAY pies were made. She made her own dough, just like she made her dumplings fresh. Her spaghetti sauce was homemade and she rarely bought a frozen entree. “Grandma Gunn” as I called her…cook put her foot in some mac-n-cheese and make a kid love green beans.
When I got older, I could call her and discuss anything with her. She taught me to be a loving kind individual. She taught me to not spare the words “I love you” to those that meant the world to me. Her laugh echoes in mine and her legacy is in my face. Some days I ache for the sound of her voice. I somehow thought in my mind that she’d always be here…and I found out that grandmas DO live forever…just not here on Earth.**
Now, that she is gone…I’m down one grand…I used to roll with TWO G’s. Now there’s only one. That’s okay…I’m still rich. 😉
I love you, Josephine Gunn. I love you, Mary Monroe. Two sides of the same kween. hehe.
**Addendum. (mental note: Don’t blog while talking on the phone) LOL