I am thinking about my grandmother today, and also reading a story of mothers and daughters.
My mother tells me things about life. Things that she wishes she had known; things that she feels I need to know. Unsettling insights into bodies and aging - things that I cannot hope to avoid and so may as well know about.
My mother aches and weeps for her mother, and the trials that time has brought. It brings to mind her own grandmother, and the years that this same dance was done. Caring and feeding for another. Loving them with a heart that is cracking open with the sense of impending loss. My grandmother has clear sentiments on aging. No minced words or polite untruths. My mother has blunt sentiments on it as well - hoping desperately to remove the unknown future burden from us.
Oh to be a woman.
I am thinking about my grandmother, and her hot pink bathing suit. I am small, splashing in the river, most likely eating a fun-size candy bar. She is sunning on the pier, near the shore. Thinking on those days brings back a wash of small memories: the damp, cool side of the house we trotted along to reach the bunkhouse bathroom. The refrigerator drawer full of small candy bars, so cold and crisp in the heat. Still tasty, even dunked in the river. Our small feet all covered in sand, sneaking in and out of that kitchen. The cold smooth concrete of the carport.
I don't remember her stopping us. I only remember her reminding us to close the door, and not track on the carpet. We ate as many chocolates as our bellies could handle. And still showed up at the table for homemade mac 'n cheese. Fresh popcorn shrimp. Fresh corn, scraped off the cob so sweet and crisp.
We have had a lot of years together since then, and still those days stand out. Maybe it's the recent Easter, and remembering all the egg hunts at that river house. She didn't make it easy, my grandmother. Oh no - that hunt lasted. She put eggs under pine straw, and actually hid the candy. Not like plucking treats from broad daylight, no ma'am. We could all hunt and hunt, and still find hidden treats days later. She was tricky, my granny.
I can recognize it now, having been bystander to an egg hunt for 4 that lasted 5 minutes. Good grief. What wimps we are raising.
Next year, no more eggs out like sitting ducks. It will be a hunt, or it will not happen.
And maybe I'll get a hot pink bathing suit.
In her honor, this mother of us.
Lovin' you, Gig...