Sunday, November 1, 2015
This is my grandma. Since today is Dia de Los Muertos / All Saints Day, I've been thinking a lot about her. Actually, I think about her almost every day. She passed away when I was a junior in high school. I have photos of her in almost every room of my house. They are constant reminders of her kindness and patience. At her funeral, my Aunt Lenora said that Alberta had a special gift of making each person think that she belonged to them alone. This felt so true to me. It always seemed like she was absolutely and entirely, only just my grandma. In reality, she had 21 other grandchildren. When I spent summers at her house, I had free reign of the farm. I loved to look through her large family photo album each day during my visits. Listening to her talk to her neighbors from her telephone table was also a daily activity. She laughed and swung her leg, while twisting the phone cord in her hand. Alberta had a clock on the kitchen wall that kept time like a metronome, so steady and slow. You had to make up your own games and activities on the farm, and sometimes it was exhausting. Riding through the fields on my Uncle Sherman's black bike was also a daily activity. There was the neighborhood park, with it's heavily chlorinated pool, and it's swings. I remember shelling peas with grandma. And, I remember eating as many gooseberries as I picked for her.
Many of my favorite memories of being at Alberta's home, are deep in my subconscious. I can close my eyes, and remember waking up in the back bedroom, smelling and hearing breakfast cooking, while staring at the large crack in the ceiling's plaster, near the antique light fixture. I can revisit my grandpa's amazing tool shed in my mind's eye, standing in the near dark, waiting for my eyes to adjust. One of my favorite memories of 605 N. Main was when the nubby green sofa would be made into a bed, and I could lay there at night, and listen to the wind blowing through the poplar trees that lined the sidewalk. Sometimes you could smell a summer thunder shower coming, through the open screen door.
My grandma always showed that she loved me. She listened to me. She gently laughed when we talked. She never tired of me or of my nonsense. I can honestly say, that I've missed her every day that we've been apart.