Friday, September 13, 2013

Parting words for my granny

I was born with straight hair. It was a little wiry but it definitely wasn't curly. And then puberty hit and suddenly I found myself with a fuzzy fro atop my head. I would become so frustrated trying to comb my now tangly rats' nest that I would grip the comb with both hands and force it through my hair, ripping out wads of hair with it.

And then my granny would gently take over. I remember she would ever so carefully work out the kinks in my hair. It got to the point I would intentionally tangle my hair so that my granny would have to spend even more time carefully combing my coif.

Tonight my granny is in a hospice bed possibly struggling to take her last breaths. We've known for a while that death was coming. Even as far back as 2006, my brothers and I would receive a frantic call from my mom to rush home, granny was dying. Back then she was suffering from heart troubles, but she rebounded. The years were not easy, though. She has battled through diabetes - even when it required a leg amputation - cancer and more heart problems. This week she also has endured massive strokes that left her muddled and eventually asleep. It seems she really is on her last leg (pun lovingly intended. We didn't call her Peg Leg Polly for nuthin').

So I remember my granny and her kind hands. I remember how she subtly let me know I was the favored grandchild. I remember how she taught me to cook my first meal, scrambled eggs. I even remember her parting words on my wedding day, "I just hope you're happy." (you had to have known Pauline to understand that this was about as optimistic as she could be). And I remember her hugging me with her flappy arms full of love and pride. I miss you, granny, and will miss you even more in the days to come.