My granny is 92 years old. She has lived a good life, and she is well loved.
And she is dying.
I don’t know when, of course, but the good Lord is calling her home, softly and tenderly.
Granny was born on a farm, she grew up on a farm, she was a farm wife, and a farm mother. She raised six good children, has 14 grandchildren, and has lived to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 great-grandchildren, all of whom she could call by name.
When I was little, I loved to stand on a chair in the kitchen and watch her cook, and I loved to pat out biscuits after she lickety-split rolled out the dough on her old bread board.
She could put a meal on the table to feed a houseful in what seemed to me like minutes, but of course it took all morning. Somehow she made it all be done at the same time, something I still can’t do, even if I’m just making three things, and she always put nine or ten dishes on the table, not counting dessert.
There was always tea so sweet it would make you pucker, and she was always asking, “shug, did you get enough? What can I get you?”
You could go to my granny’s house and lick a path from the front door to the back door and never get your tongue dirty. I have never before nor since known a woman that clean, aside from my Grandmother.
I know I make her sound like one of those tiny Southern ladies with wrinkles who wore a flowered dress and an apron and had her hair stacked up on top of her head, but that wasn’t Granny.
Granny was tall, at least to me. Tall and lean, and always with her hair cut short and set. She wore jeans and Keds, and I never saw her with a spot on her shirt or a hair out of place. I have inherited her ability to be suspiciously unwrinkled at the end of the day, and I have inherited her thick, coarse hair.
She was also strong, as she is now. There was nothing she could not reach, nothing she could not lift, nothing she could not do for herself, any time she pleased.
The only thing I ever knew her not to do was drive. I asked her one time why she couldn’t drive, and she got a twinkle in her eye and said, “I don’t want to drive, I want to be driven.”
And she was driven – anywhere she wanted to go, somebody was chomping at the bit to take her. My papa – Hawk – took her to the mall on Saturdays and sat in the middle with the other gentlemen for as long as she wanted to stay, and when he didn’t, one of my aunts did.
I had a long separation from them, but I never stopped missing my granny, my granny who laughed loud and hard, except for when she giggled, and always had time for me to pat out the biscuits, my granny who called me “shug,” always had soft hands, and always had patience for a child.
I’d give anything to have one more day standing on a chair in her kitchen, spilling flour all over the place while she calmly watched.