It started slow - just a few trickles sliding down my cheecks. Before I knew it, I was sobbing, my shoulders shaking. I was on my way home from running errands and for some reason, she flitted across my mind - my Grandmother. She's been gone for a few years now, but it can still hit me with powerful force.
This woman, she was like no other - not the typical grandmother you hold in your mind from old movies and books. She was better. She was strong and country. She grew up poor and some of the stories she told me still break my heart.
Like most southern women, she showed her love with food. She never thought we ate enough, even after we all sat around sleeping after a meal because we had gorged ourselves with so much food that it was impossible to do anything else. I don't ever remember there being a time when there was just one meat or casserole or dessert. There was at least 3 of everything. And it was all good - everytime.
My Granddaddy called her Pearlie-Girl and it was the cutest thing you ever heard. He can barely hear but she could be two rooms away, call his name, and he would immediately answer. She was 16 when they got married and loved him with all her heart until the day she died. He will love and miss her until the day he dies.
She wasn't shy about giving her opinion and she was usually right. She was tough and did what needed to be done. She wasn't sentimental. She drove a truck that had a tag on the front that said "Let me tell you about my grandchilden." It's still on that truck. And I hope I can have it someday. I don't know why. I just do.
She had a garden. She made jellies and canned vegetables. I was in college before I ever ate a green bean that didn't come out of her garden. I still have one quart of her vegatable soup in my pantry but I can't bring myself to cook it. I can't stand the thought of there not being anymore left.
Me and Mama Hen and my brother stayed at their house a lot in the summer growing up. We would say "we're going to the country." They didn't have cable and just a window air conditioner but we couldn't wait to get there and were sad when we had to go home. At one point, Grandmother played softball for the church. She was the pitcher and she was good. I remember going to the games and then we would stop by Dairy Queen and Granddaddy would buy us a hotdog.
I would give anything to have her back for just one day, or one phone call. Praise Jesus, I will have eternity with her in Heaven.