Thursday, July 16, 2015

"You are the Good Ones," said Grandma.

Another amazing day of Writing Workshop today with these super talented teachers!  Here is a piece I wrote two years ago, but was able to continue to work on it today during workshop.  After I read Remember, Grandma? by Laura Langston to begin our Guided Imagery for a Memoir piece the participants began writing, this is the piece I revised from two years before.  It is far from the publishing stage, but I hope you enjoy.  I hope it paints a clear picture of my grandma, our family's relationship and how much I miss her.

We all sat in the living room.  Together.  Staring.  Waiting.  Wondering.  Finally, I said, “Grandma, Hi!”  She stared at me with a blank look.  Sometimes we get what we are looking for and sometimes not.  Today didn’t look like it was going to be the kind of day where a glimmer of hope would be released.  What was going on inside her mind?  I thought.  Sometimes I try to imagine what she’s going through, and then I stop because it is just too painful.

Still waiting...I grab the scrapbook Mom made when times get rough.  Grandma’s eyes lit up and she grabbed the book out of my hands, just as a 3 year old would.  Flipping through the pages one by one, she made comments about each person on each page.  Well, maybe not comments, more like grunts, but we knew what she meant by the pointing, her confused looks and her strange noises.

She began by pointing at a picture of a gorgeous, young woman with hair and makeup done to perfection.  The clothes and shoes were a close second.  As she pointed, Mom said, “That is you, Mom.”  “No, sister,” Grandma replied.  Grandma looked confused.

On the next page there was a picture of a man standing by himself.  He was a dapper man in a 3 piece suit standing next to a light pole.  Grandma pointed and smiled and then slowly her smile turned to loss.  “Gone?”  Mom nodded with tears in her eyes.  Grandma stroked the picture with tears in her eyes.  As fast as the smile faded turning to despair, so did this distant memory.

Next page.  Four kids sitting in a row.  Grandma smiled again.  Mom reminded her of the names of her four cute kids’ faces.  Confusion.  Hearts breaking.

Next page.  The five grandchildren.  Grandma pointed and let out a disapproving sigh.  I knew it was my shorts that caused Grandma to roll her eyes and place her hand over her chest.

Next page.  Next page.  Next page.  Pictures and pictures and more pictures.  Waiting.  Wondering.  Staring.  Hoping.  Then it happened.

“You are the good ones,” was all she could mumble.  We knew that Grandma wanted to say so much more.  But, she just couldn’t.  She was unable to.  But, her comment was exactly what we needed to be content.

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