Friday, June 12, 2009

pirate smile

I wonder what my grandmother feels like approaching her 90th birthday.
What does her body feel like and is she scared of being so very old?
Most all of her friends are dead.
She is keenly aware of this as she collects their obituaries
in shoe boxes categorized by year-all the way back to the 1960's.

I am scared of death like every single flipping day.
She just hums and bakes pies and loves Jesus and tells me things are just fine as she traces circles on my hand with her long nails.

In the car a few weeks ago the Athens, Ohio sunlight saturated her skin through the window. She looked so old that she almost looked like a baby.
Her skin is so relaxed and wrinkled that it is as soft as my toddlers.
I had to restrain myself from randomly stroking her.

Tonight on the telephone she told me how she went to The Randys concert last night.
She is 89 and out way more nights a week than me.
She talked a whole bunch about the weather and berry picking
and what the women's club made for the July's nursing home craft drop off.
I said "yep"a bunch of times and stared out the kitchen window.

But when she's gone I will miss the nonsensical babble of Kroger's grocery store charging entirely too much for Crisco or the way she calls me Matilda even though she is fully aware that my name is Amy.

Imagine yr on a beach.
Like a good one in California
and the wind is warm with just the touch of cool that you like
and yr tan without it being bad for you
and "Tiny Dancer" is blaring out of waterproof speakers
and yr not worried about anything...
That's the kind of feeling I have with her in my life.


Alexis said...

That's so lovely, Amy. My grandmother died last year, shortly after she turned 90, and there was so much that was familiar to me in your words.

Neil said...

What lovely thoughts are contained here.

You like pirates, don't you?

Anonymous said...

love love love this. I know exactly what you mean.

Perideau Designs said...

I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog. You have such eloquence with words. A beautiful story, thank you for sharing.


Cassie said...

oh goodness. grandmothers are the best. you're lucky to still have yours...

I can't find my blog said...

I heart grandmas. You're lucky to have yours still.

I often wonder what mine would say about things happening today.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love this. Someday I want to babble to my own granddaughter about being overcharged for Crisco. I think this must be why old ladies call people "honey" and "dearie" - remembering names is so tedious...

Mary Beth said...

Lovely lovely post, Amy. I enjoyed this so much. What a blessing to know these types of old people who make it so much less scary.

katekatenegotiate said...

i love this. good writing.

180360 said...

death is the only thing i'm truly frightened of. how nice that your grandmother is doing so well! i love meeting older people that are still living and not just waiting to die.

vincent said...

Everytime I am out and see an "elderly" lady, I yearn for a grandmother... I miss mine both terribly!

Karen MEG said...

How beautiful. Almost 90, that is amazing.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother is 95 and just moved from her home. Enjoy it while you can. It's a treasure to have a grandmother that old.

Anonymous said...

That was really lovely and made me a big teary eyed for my grandmother who died last year.

Also, I'm really looking forward to meeting you at BlogHer.

ticklishfromadistance said...

This made the hair on my arms stick up. My grandmother passed away at 88 a few years ago and this made me think of her. Beautiful.


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