My Gran was the only grandparent I ever had. Both of my mother's parents were dead before she was out of school and my father's dad died before he was even married. My Gran was a bit rough around the edges. She couldn't cook worth a damn, but had grown up working hard picking cotton and working in gardens. Oddly enough, the woman loved crochet and quilting. I would go with her to her quilt circle in the summers. All the little old ladies were so sweet. When we were at her house she would give me random fabric and help me make dresses for my Barbies. I think it was really so I wouldn't leave naked dolls all over the house. "Sweatin' like a whore in church" was a catch phrase and when I hear it I giggle a little. The smell of hair with a rinse being blow dried reminds me of soap operas and Little Debbie snacks, waiting for her hair to be done. She would let me play with the pads of her fingers. I thought she was 100 years old. She would laugh and say she hoped to live that long.
She loved my purple nail polish.
When I was 10 I bought purple nail polish at HEB and my dad thought it was disgusting. My Gran thought it was pretty and made my fingers look lovely. She stood up for my purple nail polish and at the time, I thought she hung the moon.
She died the October of my senior year of high school. Her mind gave out before her body finally did. It was the first time I lost someone close to me. It was like getting my heart ripped out and kicked in the gut. I was mad at myself for pissing away so much of the time I could have spent with her. Now that I'm older I see a lot of her in myself. I wonder what she would say about all the things I make. Would she like the new styles coming about in the quilt world? Would she tell me if something looked ridiculous? Could she explain why she always jacked a few packets of Sweet N Low from every restaurant we went to?
Yesterday was her birthday. She would have been 100.