Thursday, October 9, 2014

Someone Who's Known Me for a Long Time

Yesterday was my grandmothers 91st birthday. As much as I wanted to be there at her house, I just couldn't. She lives 5 hours away, and it was not feasible logistically. We did spend a long time face timing and chatting, which was great.

As my last remaining grandparent, she holds such a special place in my heart. Her smile, her laugh, her smell. She is one of the last of her generation. She grew up in South Louisiana to a family of Cajun farmers. She still speaks broken English, and when she gets excited she starts speaking in Cajun French. My great uncle, her brother, only speaks Cajun, and so to communicate with him, we have to go thru her.

Last night, face timing with her was bitter sweet. It was such fun to see her laugh, to sing happy birthday to her while she had her chocolate cupcakes in front of her. But, it was sad because, I had to wonder how many birthday's she has left.

While she has never been the most worldly, the most educated, or most well spoken, she has always been one of the people that I am most closest to. Growing up, when times got turbulent, I ran to her house. When I got my license and car, the first place I drove was to her house.  We would spend hours talking, and even more not talking. She was so content to just sit and be with me, and ask nothing in return.

The day I graduated high school, and had a diploma in my hand, I went to her house. I sat next to her rocker, and she held my diploma and cried for joy. See, my grandmother had to drop of of school when she was in 8th grade to help with the family farm. I think she always wanted to go back to school, but never did. Then, when I graduated college and then finished my masters, she again, held both in her hands and cried.

She is one of the few remaining people in my life who has known me for a really long time. One of the people that can look back and recall each phase of my life, what I was like and who I was. She holds as much of my history as anyone.

Looking over her life, I cannot imagine what she must think when she looks at the world today. She's never driven a car, never used a cell phone, or surfed the web. (My mom and dad take their iPad to her house to face time with her). In her lifetime she has seen a world war, schools desegregated, women's right expanded, and a computer placed in nearly every household.

How strange and complicated the world must seem. How very different and complicated from when she grew up and where she came from.

While I know she will never read this, I simply want to say again, Happy Birthday Grandma, I love you. (Chances are my mom will end up reading this to her, so thanks mom!)


Denise said...

you are so lucky to have such a wonderful person in your life!

Anonymous said...

I maayyyyy have deleted my comment before it posted? If this is a dupe you can delete it ;)

Anyway, I just said that she seems like an incredible woman and you're so lucky to have her. Enjoy her as long as you can :)

B @ The Sequin Notebook said...

What a beautiful tribute - she sounds like a very special lady :)

Brooke said...

awwww - how sweet!! i love that she will facetime with you :)