Yesterday was a really weird day, come to think of it so was today. Our last patient of the day yesterday had to call for a cab at 5:30. The kids were at their dads and I knew they let the dog out around three so I stayed with my office manager until ten after six. This patient will never be scheduled after 3 again. We spent the time talking about death and families. Why is it so comforting to know that other families are crazy too?
Mostly I was upset because of the sorry excuse of an obituary that my grandmother received. It said she was a homemaker. That’s it. One word to sum up her life? It was not only wrong but it was unacceptable. They only listed the living children, not my mother or my two uncles that also preceded her.
I came home to a quiet house and started cleaning…..and stewing….and writing in my head before I ever sat down to the computer. My grandmother was more than just a homemaker, and how dare they? So I took my anger, opened up FaceBook and began to type…..
My grandmother was a wonderful storyteller. She may have never learned to read or write but she could spin a web of words that would leave you entranced, or terrified….depending on the story. It was through her that I learned how to spot a good story and someday I hope to be as talented as she was in the telling…. This song by Walela has an a singer in the beginning who sounds a lot like my grandma did when she would sing. She used to talk about singing and dancing to the old time mountain music, but it was never anything that was recorded. My imagination believes that it might sound a little like Alabama’s Mountain Music, and I always liked that song, maybe that’s why? Sometimes she would tell me ghost stories that would keep me “owl eyed” all night, with threats from my aunt “if you wake this baby!” That baby being Nicole Dawn, who now has babies of her own.
Sometimes she would talk about growing up and her brothers and sisters. I am not sure if I know all of them but I do know there was Bessie, Milley, Howard, Norrie and Critten. She may have been born in Pineville, Kentucky but she lived the longest in Roaring Fork, Kentucky. She lived in a two bedroom house built by her father and spent most of her nights with Norrie sleeping on the floor in front of the fireplace. She had a rough childhood as most did from that time and was closest to her sister Norrie. Whenever I watch Coal Miner’s Daughter I always think of my grandmother since this is the only visual I have of what growing up in a “holler” might be like.
She talked about a tradition that I had never heard of until I started following Outlander sights. I was never sure of the spelling of McCullum (Jane her grandmother) and I was also never sure if it was Irish or Scottish? The tradition that she told me about is Scottish and has a name, it’s called Hogmanay. It was a big deal when she was a child and it is still a big deal in Scotland to this day. A first footer is a real thing. I’m still not sure where Waterloo comes from? She would never ask me if I was dating she would just say “did you find yourself a Waterloo yet?” I would always so “no Grandma, I am not looking for one.”
We talked a lot about canning, it was mostly me asking for advice because that woman could cook. I will never again have sausage gravy and biscuits the way that my grandmother made…hers being the best of course. I have memories of being small and shivering under the blankets until the sweet smell of breakfast wafted through the air. That smell meant that grandma had filled up the wood burner and breakfast was close to being ready.
My grandmother Cynthia **** was born March 10, 1923. She married my grandfather Roy ***** 18 years her senior on April 17th 1945, she was his second wife. They had eleven children, three who preceded her in death. My mother Lorene, my Uncle Roy and my Uncle Hobart. She leaves behind eight children Don, Paul, Wayne,Jimmy,Wanda, Joann, Ricky, and Lisa Marie…..the order may not be correct but the names are. Eleven children means too many grandchildren to count, and even more great grandchildren.
After my mother died we took solace in each other. I talked to her every Saturday night for years. I learned a lot of things in those conversations. Things that I may have never known if circumstances were different. It’s a double edged sword if you will…..I miss my mom more than anything, but I would have never learned as much about my grandmother’s past if my mom wouldn’t have died so young.
My grandmother had a lot of stories but I am sure that her kids never heard them. They are so full of greed over that farm. My mom told us before she died to stay away after my grandma died and we are listening.
My brother took this and added to it. I can’t post his words here, but holy cow….The sarcastic part of me wanted to respond with “hey I’m not dead yet” but instead I said “you have rendered me speechless. That was beautiful thank you.” He said things about the strength of the women in our bloodline, me included. He said he was proud and that I was at least twice as strong as he is. I’m brutally honest and that I deeply love my family. What was I supposed to say? He’s the baby so he spends most of his time picking on me. I wasn’t prepared for his words or the emotion that they carried.
I said my peace and I feel better. Sadly it’s only people that I know that know those things about her. Her neighbors and others she may know only got the “homemaker” memo.
One of the girls from work posted that I should write my grandmother’s life and make it a best seller. First my notes aren’t that great. Second that’s not my genre. Now if my grandmother told me about a space ship landing in their holler….that I could write. I am a Sci Fi /Fantasy girl for sure. I’ve never tried to write horror though, maybe if I could remember more details of the stories that kept me “owl eyed” and up all night? I don’t have any deep desires to tell my grandmother’s story but she deserves to be remembered for more than a “homemaker”. Who knew that word bothered me so much?
I snapped some of these pictures while I was waiting for the last few patients to check out and before I knew we would have to sit there for so long….
Sunsets and rainbows….I have a thing for them for sure. I appreciate a good sunrise as well, especially one with the dew rising off of the ground but I am not a morning person at all.
Thank goodness for search Ohio. I heard that Lifetime made a movie Flowers in the Attic and Petals in the Wind. The original movie was a huge let down so I am hoping that these are better. I read these books in seventh grade and loved them. I’m not sure why I never noticed how disturbing they were, and I have never looked at a powdered sugar donut without thinking of this book since then. Movie number one is going to be my exciting night tonight…….Zia