I have been missing my Great-Grandmother. The past two weeks have been without boundaries. Name it and it was happening. No time for sitting, reading, or even sleeping. Relentless. And I have been feeling chased by the hounds of hell. And, this busyness is what has made me long for Grandma and her eye of the hurricane peace.
Her birth certificate states she is a person of "colour", but she was actually a Saura indian. A striking 4'11", she had solid black hair that fell from her shoulders to her waist to the floor and beyond which she wore in a semblance of a bee's skep on her head, plaited and wrapped until she appeared to have on a turban. Most remarkable, however, were her steel blue eyes. It is believed the Sauras may have intermarried with folks from the Lost Colony, thus, some had red hair and others had blue eyes. A beautiful mix in any case.
What made Grandma so unique, to me, was the fact that she could fry the best sweet potatoes in the world on her wood stove and that she was never flustered. Make no mistake. She could be firey mad when needed, but she laughed so hard that, like Santa, her belly jiggled like a bowl full of jelly. She knew right from wrong and there was no such thing as grey in her world.
When she was 17 or 18, she met a 6'5" Scot-Irishman with eyes bluer than hers, fell hard, and married him. Thus, her marriage certificate states that she is a person of "colour" yet again. Together they created 17 children, of whom 9 lived to adulthood, and survived depression, death, TB, and strokes until her death at 82 in 1975.
When we would go visit Grandma we didn't call first. It was long distance and too expensive to make a call unless it was serious -- illness or death. But, she always knew we were coming. Sweet potatoes, biscuits, pear preserves, roasted chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, and cake would be cooling on the table when we drove up. And Grandma would come dancing from the back door, apron on and covered in flour, clapping her hands and calling, "hurry and come eat before it gets cold!" She always knew "things." She could stop bleeding with her hands and a prayer. She could churn butter in the heat of summer and grew only red flowers because "we all know those are the only ones that are pretty." Her house was immaculate until the day she went home to her Heavenly Father.
From time to time I smell Grandma, her perfume gently slipping past me as I feel her presence, her stroking my hair as she did when I was a wee thing. I hear her whisper to me, telling me what matters and what doesn't. She knew. She was centered, content as a well fed kitty, and understood the world in a way I doubt I will.
I miss her.