As I sit here this evening and think of what I want to say in this entry my mind goes to my grandmother. My feisty little grandmother. That woman has more stubbornness in her than I know what to do with at times. She is a tiny, frail little thing but let me tell you, watch out if you make her mad or cross her. (Gee, kinda reminds me of myself.) She can stop you dead in your tracks with a glare that she has learned to master so well over the years. (Well, maybe I got that from her as well.) But, she is so full of love for others that her nature can draw in the most ruthless of people. When I was in college I had to do a report on who my hero was, well, of course at that time I did it on my grandfather. That man in my eyes could do anything and not break a sweat. He had lived and conquered like no other. But today, my hero, well, its my grandmother. That woman has lived a life full of love, pain, tears, hate, and loss. So much loss.
So, here is where I tell you about my grandmother. She was born in Trigg County, which those around here know as Golden Pond, KY. She met my grandfather there at a very young age and well, they got married very young as well. He was 19 and her only 14. Now, tone those gasps down people, back then you married young and raised your family as a younger woman. To hear her tell this story is one I will never forget. But she loved my grandfather and still does more that anything in this world. She clung to him with everything she had and in the end she lost her heart, her husband, and her best friend. The night I had to tell her that her husband of 76 years had passed away, I saw a piece of her break and that piece, well, there was no way to ever put it back together for her. But no matter how badly she is hurting from that loss she holds her head high and carries on. I honestly do not think I could do the same if I were in her shoes.
She had 5 children and has out lived 3 of them. She helped to build a home, raise their children even during a war, worked the ground for their meals, and loved them. And when those children grew up and had babies she loved all of those grandchildren. Then those grandchildren grew and had great grand children and she loved them as well. She even loved her grand dogs. Yes, animals count in our family.
I sit sometimes and listen to her tales of the old days and she has such a light and a glow to her that makes me so sad to not have know the way things were back then. But what is the saddest for me is to know that someday she will not be here anymore to tell me her stories. I have listened to her stories for 42 years now and they were great stories. When I was little I loved the bedtime stories, even those my grandfather told her not to tell me because he knew that Little Red Riding Hood would scare me and I would end up having to sleep between them. And here's a little secret, I outgrew that scared part and just wanted to sleep with them and pretended to be scared. OK, well, maybe they knew that alright?
She smiles as she speaks sometimes and she throws in a giggle from time to time as she tells me something mischievous that she did. Heck, that woman still does mischievous stuff and smiles that little grin when she speaks of it. Then tells me not to do those things that she is telling me about. Well, the apple did not fall far from the tree and that is all I am saying about that.
My grandmother has taught me so many things in life, and even at that age of 91 the lessons I am learning from her are priceless. Even though there will be a day I will not be able to listen to these stories or simply see that devious little smile on her face, I know that her love will never leave me, and pieces of her will always be with me. So until that day comes, I will listen to every story she has to tell both good and bad. I will hold her hand when she needs me to. I will simply be there with her in her times of sadness and times of happiness. And someday, I just hope to be half the grandmother that she has been to me.