Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holidays.........Grandma Alma And George

I was just sitting here 'thinking back' to when I lived at my Grandma Alma and George's as a child.  At this time of year Grandma and George would decide what they wanted to have to eat at Christmas.  It couldn't be alot because they were poor and they didn't have nice things to eat nor things around them for comfort.  How fortunate we all are compared to them........ I look back and it pure breaks my heart.

  Two wonderful people who would give you their last penny to help you, who were very deserving of the good things in life.  What they had was each other, and though they fussed all the time) they loved the ground the other was on.  My Grandma Alma was paralyzed on one side from a stroke she suffered when I was very little .. before I came to live with her.  George was blind and couldn't see at all ( he never used it as a weakness... what a strong man he was).... and they had each other to depend on.

Try as they both did, to keep their house looking nice.... it was bad.  How can two people who are in such shape do any better than they did.  As an adult now ..looking back... I ask the question 'how did they do as well as they did'?  I saw Grandma cry sometimes and I even saw George cry when he didn't think anyone was around... have you ever seen a blind man cry?  It will melt even the meanest soul's heart.

I know that from time to time just from the stress of living like they had to, would catch up with them and make them fuss... and fuss they did.  It was a sight to behold and to hear and... sadly was funny at the same time. 

They used the words I learned to say when I needed them from time to time.  I really try not to, but, somehow those same words will find their way out ... not so much now as when I was 'riled up', ha!  I don't like to cuss but, I really know a whole lot of words... my Grandma Alma and George taught me!  At the same time they taught me about being good and to be humble, to care about others and to help others and that money wasn't everything.  They really are my foundation, the foundation that taught me to be strong.  I learned to be very strong living there as a child.  Now........... I know 'why'.... with all that's happened in my life... I'd never been strong enough. 

Getting back to Grandma Alma and George... and their fussing.  Jimmy and I would laugh so much in the next room listening to them.  George would holler out in a deep voice with his choice cuss words and Grandma Alma would tell him he wasn't going to talk to her that way.... he'd say he'd talk anyway he wanted to... and it'd go back and forth Grandma Alma would do what she'd do in a heartbeat to break up fights that were going on in front of her, or protecting her grandchildren.... she'd reach up on the old dresser beside her rocking chair and get ..... her glass of water and ...throw it on George to cool him down!!!  Oh my goodness..... one knew when she did that because the sound he made when he'd yell!  It would make anyone shake inside. 

My Grandma Alma and George, how I loved you.... and how I've never met anyone at all like you both in all these years.  You were so tough and fragile all at the same time.  Though you cussed and you fussed... you were good were the diamonds in the rough!  One had to look and listen carefully to see that.... I did.

I know now through the years when I kept looking back at you both... through growing up myself... I don't think I could have handled being paralyzed or blind as well as you two did.  What amazing people you were... what loving people you were.  When I begin to tell my story in depth of what went on at your house when I was a child.... it doesn't reflect on either of you.... you did the best you could and I know if you'd known..... you would have protected me more.  As a child I 'knew' you could only do so much because of your medical conditions.  I was lucky to have you both and lucky to have even a home then.  No one cared about me... everyone had a home... and I was thrown away to your home and.. you took me in with love.  I'll always remember that.  I love you, Grandma Alma and George... I wish I could have been aware of all I am now... and done more for you when you were living.  I don't know if either of you ever... saw even one day's peace of mind.  That's 'why' I always associate the house you lived in as one of the portals from ......hell.  You never saw happiness..if you did it was a brief happiness... someone would come through that door and ... the next drama would begin... making that tiny bit of happiness.... go out like the flame burning on a candle.

Holidays there at Grandma Alma and George's were like no other I ever seen anywhere else in my lifetime........ holidays there were a time of fighting and people settling old scores and some would drink their liquid courage and open their cans of 'whip ass' and want to... fight the other (the women loved to fight!) and show who was the toughest around.  They'd all pick Grandma Alma and George's 'middle room' where they both sat all the time.  I call it 'The Arena'.... I witnessed many awful things in The Arena as a child..... since in my mind I believe that house to be one of the portals to hell.... I believe the devil sat there watching and laughing in glee to what went on.  I sat there, too, with the others .... to watch ... and I'd listen to my 'family' cheer on someone to 'whip so and so's ass'!  The only time I couldn't sit there and watch was when.....someone would dare to hit my mama!  As a little girl even when my mom would leave me and not do right.... I loved my mama and I'd fight for her... I was protective of her.  There's nothing as strong as a child's love for their mother... no matter what.  Anyway... whoever hit my mom while in The Arena... felt my child-hands slapping them, too!

Poor Grandma and George.... one couldn't see and one couldn't walk but, very little and was paralyzed.  How in the world did they bear that all those years?  When  I write the things I do it isn't meant to hurt's meant to tell the story of a little girl who grew up with her own story and experiences from all that.  Truthfully, no matter how much I was made fun of as a child, no matter how I dressed (no one dressed me nor taught me how to brush my hair... I just did what I did ...somehow... at school I paid for it dearly.......... once I very well-dressed and lived as nice as the other kids........ it was all gone when I was thrown to Grandma and George's) matter what I went through.......... it made me strong and... it made me a very good person even though I went on to make mistakes as all young people do trying to make grown-up decisions... but, as soon as I'd become aware that I needed to be different and do better... I would do exactly that.  I wasted many years though... trying to stay married and not let my son come from a broken home.... like I did.  I regret that ... I am thankful I had my beautiful son in my life while he was here.  He did love his mother (he called me Mama) and I knew it... I loved my son and he knew it... neither of us ever had to wonder like I used to.  I made sure of that.

I remember my Aunt Frankie coming to visit from time to time... how I loved her when I was a little girl.  How I wanted to be like her when I grew up!  She was soft-spoken and she never cussed until someone really crossed the line and she had to defend herself when she came to visit.  She dressed well and.... she loved me.  She would take me aside and say 'Faye, when you grow up you don't have to have this mess in your life, you'll be able to decide what 'you' want'.... that quiet, soft voice of hers would calm me down inside.  I wished she were my mama, too.  She'd leave and ... all that stress from living there would come back.  My Aunt Frankie was a lady... everyone was jealous of her because she would hold herself apart (in a good way) and be 'somebody'... how I respected and loved her.  It took years ... I grew up alot like her and in my life I don't have 'any mess'... never have and never will.  Skip and I live quietly and we are private and Tommy was our closest friend and, son.... we all three knew we weren't alone and we were there for the other and we could be counted on.  We never knew we'd lose Tommy... he was our life, too.  He's not here to tell his children anything now... they need to know something about their family on their dad's side and about their daddy.  Thankfully ...McKenzie has a good person to be her father.  Kim, you did good choosing a good man, my hat's off to you.  I'm proud of you.  I'll also, say that through time you never let me down in my knowing you as a good mother... not even once.  I respect and love you.  Greg, I respect and love you, too.  McKenzie, you are a beautiful granddaughter and I'm glad to have known you for a little while. I'm thankful you have two good parents to love and care for you.

The memories, the memories... when I begin telling about one.... so many overwhelm me.  Things that I haven't even thought about in years.... this is going to be a long story/blog.  I will think of things that I have blocked off in the past and bring them out into.. the sunshine... if I can't bear to, I will put them back until... another time.

Grandma Alma and George...  I've never known people like you through all these years.  I loved you both with my very heart.  Thank-you for all you did.  I send my love to Heaven to you both.

1 comment:

  1. As a child I had wished you could have stayed with your Grandma Alma and George. Now I know "why" you couldn't. I just knew my friend was goan again. What you said about the house they lived in I think is absolutely true. I lived next door to that house now and I have heard and seen terrible on that property---even death. So far my neighbors there now have been quiet and good. Just hope it stays that way. Good night Gloria. Love, Ms. Nancy