Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bringing Grandma Alma's Memory Alive ... For A Few Moments


George and Grandma Alma 'sitting in their chairs where they sat for many years'...  

Bringing Grandma Alma's Memory Alive ... For A Few Moments

I didn't get to know my Grandma Alma in the days that she walked. I was too little to remember.  

My only vague memory of her walking was outside in the backyard... I'm closing my eyes to try to remember.  It seemed like there was a little party for one of us grandchildren, or maybe she was pouring kool aid for us.  I just can't remember anymore.

My next memory of her was of myself tipping-toeing into the front bedroom.  I remember everything was so 'white' in there.  A hospital bed was in there... on it lay my Grandma Alma.  I tried to peep up at her.

My next memory of her is sitting in her rocking chair, an upholstered recliner that rocked.  George's wooden chair with a bottomed seat was sitting beside it.  For twenty-some years they sat side by side in those chairs.

George, my step-grandfather (the only grandfather I ever knew... the kindest man I ever knew until I met Skip)... was blind.  He could cook, wash clothes, hang them out onto the clothes line.  

Grandma Alma was very intelligent, even after her stroke.  When I was little I would think 'school teacher'... she tried to teach us grandchildren so much.  She tried to pass on her knowledge of things, games she played as a child.

Grandma Alma was paralyzed... one arm was useless, one leg dragged when she tried to walk with her walker.  George always walked beside her.

George always gave her range of motion exercises every morning, noon, and evening.  He never failed at doing that.  He would exercise her body, rub it with rubbing alcohol, then... lotion (Beauty Ray lotion).

If anyone could have made her walk again ... it would have been George.  I never heard him complain, he did it with love.  George was a good man.  He loved Grandma Alma, he loved her grandchildren, and her 5 daughters.

My Grandma Alma would tell me to hide behind her chair if I ran to her.  She would protect me to the death, daring anyone 'to put a finger on that child!'  

The sad thing is I never made it that far when I should have... how does a child know 'bad' things will happen out of the blue to them ... when there are adults around... waiting for opportunities.  

It's like a hawk swooping down to catch a rabbit before it knows what has happened.  The rabbit is just hopping along in its own world... not knowing 'something wants to get it.'

Watch your little ones... even the 'nicest, about something' ...person may be waiting for an opportunity.  Just because a person is 'so and so, would never do such a thing'... yes, they will.  You hear about it all the time... only 'it doesn't happen to you'.  Yes, it does....

Grandma Alma never knew the times I cried, was afraid.  I never told her... I never thought to.  I fought to survive a mean world I'd been thrust into very young ... I kept losing battles, but.. learned as I went.  I've always learned the hard way... when I did, I never forgot.  I never told on anybody... everybody else did.

Strangely enough, Grandma Alma was paralyzed... yet, she was the 'strong one'... she was the nucleus everyone revolved around.  She was the matriarch.  

Maybe that was 'why' the center of the floor in the room she was trapped in all those years... became what I always called 'the stage, the arena'... when I became old enough to think about it.

Everyone came to that invisible stage... always 'in that center of the room' to.... raise hell, to fight, cuss, knock each other around.  They would scream at whomever the dispute was with, then, scream at Grandma Alma to tell them this or that.  The next thing one knew, there would be a 'helluva fight going on'.  

Poor George would try to feel around to break it up, Grandma Alma yelling at him 'do something, George!'  He would get hit in the face, in the chest, or kicked.  

Once I saw something happen to George that broke my little girl heart.  I cried as I watched him get knocked down on the floor.... he landed on his back.  Bad things happened down at Grandma Alma and George's.....  tears come to my eyes now, thinking about this.  I have to stop now....

Grandma Alma had twinkling, smiling blue eyes.  How I loved my Grandma Alma!  She would reach out with that one good arm to pull me to her, hug me.  I would feel safe when she did that.... I wasn't safe for long... I couldn't stay close to her all the time.  I didn't try to... I was too curious to know what was around me.

Grandma Alma's photo above is a treasure.  I've had it for years, how it survived the house fire, I don't know.  I don't think anyone else has a photo of her any younger than this one... if so, I would so much love to see it.

I wonder what kind of person she was at this age?  I look at the photo, I wonder.  I see a slight smile on her face... I wish I could see her with her hat off.  

Do you see me wondering about my Grandma Alma?  Just suppose, suppose for a moment ... that I could go to a blog to read in her own words about her life?

Suppose I could see her favorite photos...  suppose I could read what makes her laugh, makes her cry.  I could learn what kind of person she was.  I can't ever know what she was like as a young woman, I can't even see photos of her at an younger age.

Do you see 'why' I blog, put my photos here, on Facebook?  So, one day my granddaughter, grandson can 'know me through my words, my photos'.  So, they can read about me, their father who is my son.    

They can read about our Pups, learn we are dog-lovers, know Pa Skip through my blog.  Who knows, maybe one day it could be possible, I could write a book... I have a lot to write about.  My life has been very colorful.  For now, I'll keep practicing writing....

Grandma Alma might not have have had a blog... that's okay.  I've brought her back to life... through memories, and photos.  Everyone who loved her are thinking about her at this very moment.  She had a lot of grandchildren...... precious grandchildren whom she tried to protect.  Not in every case could she.

For a few moments, I brought Grandma Alma's memory alive.  I hope my special photo of her surprises everyone to get a rare glimpse into the past ... when she was young Grandma Alma.  :)))


  1. I remember your Grandma Alma. I do remember some yelling going on next door. I never knew anyone was mean to George. That is sad that people would harm a blind person. I am glad that he and Grandma Alma tried to protect you from bad things. Sometimes there isn't anything anyone can do to stop the bad stuff. I only remember seeing Grandma Alma standing in the doorway once. Love, Ms. Nancy

  2. Thanks for introducing Grandma Alma to me … a very special woman to you – and she would have loved what you have written here about her. She is proud over you. A beautiful and powerful post.