• Blue

To My Grand Mother

My grandmother was absolutely my hero in my life. She took me in when she felt there was a need to. I was very young at the time, around 1 to 1 1/2 years old. She taught me hobbies that are so prevalent in my life today. She created the person that I am from the start.

At the age of 12 she would drive an hour one way to take painting classes. I fell in love with it. I very much enjoyed going with her. I also enjoyed going to Hardee’s for roast beef sandwiches. Just when we were in site of Hardee’s, she would say, “Do you want to get a roast beef sandwich?” My grandparents lived in the country and they had a farm that consisted of not just farm animals, but also exotic birds as well. They had a large garden and plants galore. It was quite a drive to go out to eat, so it was a treat. I always said yes.

I played every sport I could throughout the school years. Until I became a parent myself, I didn’t realize everything that went into providing. I took for granted the times they would take timeout from working on the farm just to drive me to endless sporting events. As most children are blind to the obvious. I wish I had made it easier on them. They were so good to me and I’m not sure how I would’ve turned out without them. I loved sports and loved having a pond behind the house. We had a system, if I were fishing and lunch or dinner was ready, they would blow the horn of the car. I could hear it and come home. Many times they would be outside all day long. One time I saw a copperhead and I was yelling in hopes they could hear me. My grandmother came down with a riffle and she shot the snake right in the head. At that moment I know she was fierce and I liked it!

She also enjoyed quilting and knitting. Knitting was easier for me and it is such a great disconnect from this troubled world. I could knit for hours with the TV sounds in the background. I couldn’t tell you what any of those shows were about. I would lose myself and the time. I can knit for 4 hours straight. Usually this happens when I am dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety, or found a fun pattern.

I was so glad to receive her quilting materials. My ex knew I loved my art and promised me an art room. He built up so much of my anticipation on what he wanted to give to me. We had looked at art rooms and picked out the perfect one. I loved seeing all the material she had kept throughout the years. Some back from the late 70’s and 80’s. Most of them still had tags. I had them all matched and boxed. I was awaiting the time to come to fully appreciate this gift. Unfortunately, he passed away and his vision for me, never came into fruition.

A woman purchased all of the material at my moving sale. it was for the elderly women in the community I lived to have to make quilts. I was trying to hold back the tears as I watched the boxes go out my front door. I still think about it, even after two years. It was a precious gift. But I know it went to good use.

After my high school graduation, she gave me a 35mm camera. She received plenty of use of the photographs. She would ask me to take photos of her gorgeous flowers for many, many years. She would say, “When I get old and cannot take care of the flowers anymore, I can look back on the ones I used to have.” She had so many photos to reminiscence of the better days in her last years of life. I would come into the house and she would have them out. I can’t tell you how good that made me feel. I had copies of all of the photos. Unfortunately, when I had to sell everything, I had to throw them away. I had to go through thousands of photos. It was like erasing a part of me and her. I only kept what I though my children would want. I separated them one at a time. I placed photos with family or themselves in a box for each child. I was going to be without a home and a safe place for storage.

My grandmother assisted me in sending me to rookie school. When I graduated and was hired with the

police department I worked for, she pinned my badge on my uniform at the swearing in ceremony. I lived across the street from her. When I had to leave to go to work, I would back my car out of the driveway and look over at her kitchen window. It never failed that I would see her looking through the window and she would wave.

I was late one day for work because I overslept. I would work until the early morning hours and wouldn’t hear the alarm sometimes. She gave me an old school large two bell alarm.a You know the one with the small hammer that would repeatedly hit each bell. Even that didn’t work, as well as the alarms I had already.

We would talk daily and she would ask if I had to work the next day. She would call me everyday I worked just to make sure I would wake up, and if that didn’t work, she would walk across the street and knock on my door until I answered. I had to medically retire from the department years later. Had I inured myself with any other job, I wouldn’t have a means to survival as I do now.