Wednesday, May 17

On Grandmothers and Love

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My mommy is visiting this week! So, y'all are getting a repeat...with a couple of additions down at the bottom! 

I went to a quilting day at my church today -- before you start thinking I'm among the over 60 crowd, let me tell you I was the youngest woman there by a good 35 years. The ladies were hilarious and I started thinking about my grandma, who has been old for as long as I can remember. I love her, don't get me wrong, but she's the complete opposite of the mother-figure in the manuscript I'm working on right now. So, I started wondering where I created this person in my book -- and realized she is a composite of my great-grandmother (grandma's mom; she died when I was 13) and my paternal grandmother (who died when I was 7).

Here's what I remember about these two women: Grandma Grice (who was always referred to by both names, I don't know why, but isn't that a cool first name?) would wake up early with me in the summers when I visited her in North Carolina and walk with me for miles along the beach looking for shells. She helped me catch those little sand-bugs and fill up a jar to take home. Three days later when I cleaned out my suitcase I realized why bringing bugs home from vacation wasn't such a good idea. And then there was Big Mommy (who stood 5-feet flat and was dwarfed by my 6'2 "Big Daddy"), who talked to me and listened to my stories. She's probably the reason I'm writing today. I remember one morning when my brother and I were staying at the farm, the guys were out in the field and I was "helping" Big Mommy cook. And telling her a story of some sort. She turned to me and said, "Kristi, why don't you write this one down, so I'll always have it?" So I hopped off my high stool and headed to the front room for pencils and paper. After 30 minutes I was done and took the story in to the kitchen -- and proceeded to read it to her. I think that was the opposite of what she'd hoped for --a few minutes of quiet without my story echoing in her ear. But she just smiled and hugged me. That story hung on the refrigerator til we left. When she died, it was in a box she kept by her bed. I lost it somewhere along the line. I wish I still had it.

I've been watching my mom with bebe this week. How she listens to her and patiently offers long explanations for whatever question bebe has brought up...and I hope she looks back on these visits the same way I look back on visiting my grandmothers. I hope the memories she's making now will one day bring back to smells of baking cookies and the week-old corpses of bugs caught in the sand...and I hope they make her smile.

Do you have a good grandma story? Share in the comments - because we should always celebrate the women who have molded us, don't you think?                 ~Kristina


  1. A good one to repeat! Have a good week with your mom and bebe.

  2. Love your grandma stories, Kristi! Yes, we should indeed celebrate the women who helped make us who we are! Enjoy your time with your women family--it's priceless. ;-)

  3. Grandmothers are indeed very special. When I think of my maternal grandmother, Granny Orb (we never called her Grandma and we never referred to her by her first name, don't ask me why), I think of food. She loved to feed us, and wasn't happy until everyone was stuffed. I can still hear her say "Eat, eat!" So I did!

    1. aw, what a sweet memory, Jana! Grandma's do like to feed us, don't they? :D