88

My mom and I have planned a special trip to see my Granny in Maryland in a couple weeks. I am so excited. I wake up every morning and think to myself, “Only 12 more days ’til we see Granny!…. Only 11 more days ’til we see Granny!”

If you knew my Granny, you’d understand.

Consider this post a sequel to my initial “Granny” post. There’s really  no single, cohesive thought, so I mashed several different thoughts about Granny into one post.

 

She is physically strong.

Once she had finished boasting about being 88 and perfectly capable, she gingerly stepped down off the stoop on my back patio. I had protested too much about her being careful while she gardened in my tiny backyard.

Heavens, Hannah, she’s fine. get her a chair. Do I have gloves? Doesn’t matter, she doesn’t need them. Don’t worry about her, go back to work, she’ll be fine.

I meekly retreated to my home office, opening my window so I can hear her in case she calls, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

She worked relentlessly until every one of the plants she had dubiously picked out for my new garden were in the  ground, tucked in neatly by top soil and watered gently from one of my drinking cups.

From my office, I heard her shuffling gait as she heaved the sliding door shut and made her way to the kitchen to wash her hands. She’ll still have dirt crusted under her nails later, which she’ll pick at mindlessly during a game of Kings on the Corner.

 

She is mentally strong.

She plays card games and sudoku to keep her mind sharp. So many of her peers have developed Alzheimer’s. She might get it sometime, but not without a fight. Until then, she’ll continue falling asleep, as elderly humans are prone to do, with a pencil, a book, or a deck of cards in her hand.

 

She is funny.

Her only daughter (my mother), her sons, and most of her grandchildren inherited her spunk and humor. If someone slips on ice, trips, or takes themselves too seriously, Granny is usually the first of all of us to laugh. Outsiders think she’s a proper, little lady. Her family knows better.

Her face lines prove a lifetime of laughter, despite the hardship we all know existed. She giggles and squeals like a teenager when her sarcasm is realized. She snorts through her disapproving looks when her sons make toilet jokes. Her eyes twinkle with joy when she’s included in family conversations.

 

She is wise.

And if we act like little twerps, she takes the first opportunity to shake her skilled finger in our face and slowly, deliberately scold us with Scripture.

She knows we were raised better than that, if not by our parents, then by she herself. We can fool anyone else, not her. Do we understand?

We should ask our mothers if they need help. That’s the right thing to do. Oh, we don’t feel like it? Tough — she’s volunteering us.

She understands how we feel, but our father was right. There’s no use in us shutting ourselves up in our room to sulk. Come on out, let’s apologize and mend.

 

She is opinionated.

Walking into my front door, she quietly observed my next door neighbor arranging one of her dozen pots of flowers, shrubs, and trees.

My  neighbor looked up, sensing her stare. “Good morning.”

After introductions, Granny complimented her colorful arrangement. “It makes your porch very welcoming in the summer, I bet.”

“Oh yes, I love to surround myself with Nature’s beauty,” my neighbor smiled, stepping around her pots with a watering can.

Granny smiled and nodded, looked out at the beautifully blue sky, and stepped indoors, where I was slicing fruit.

She walked up close to me and said in what I suppose she thought was a whisper, “Tacky.” She pursed her lips, waved her experienced hand in the direction of my front door, and shook her head.

“Too much stuff! It’s tacky, I tell you.”

She poked my side. “Your one hanging pot is more tasteful than her jungle porch.”

With that, she shuffled toward the back door to take advantage of the sunshine.

 

She’s my Granny.

And I love her.

Granny, my sister, and I at a family dinner outing.
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