Thursday, February 17, 2011


My grandma is 85 years old. She's my mom's mom. This woman married at 18 and proceded to give birth to twelve children over the next 18 or so years. She's lost three of those children. One son in infancy, a daughter in her early twenties and another son just a few years ago when he was in his late forties.

On Tuesday evening, my mom received a call from a nearby hospital. They had my grandma there. She'd fallen while out for a walk. A passerby had found her, unconscious, on the sidewalk. She received three staples in the back of her head and was sent home with my mom with instructions to rest and come back in a few days to check for infection.

We don't know how long she laid there, in the damp, cold mud before someone found her and called an ambulance.

We know she's lucky she didn't break a bone or worse.

She's staying at my mom's for a few days to rest and recover. Already, though, she's antsy to get back to her little apartment, her own space.

My grandmother is a strong, vivacious woman. She's a sweet southern lady with southern sensibilites. When her youngest son, her TWELFTH child was just a young boy, her husband left her. My grandma still wears her wedding band because even if her husband divorced her, in her heart, in her mind, she'll be married until she dies. She's deeply spiritual and has a very close relationship with God. She's taught us all to look deep for strength and religion and listen deeply for God's voice.

This woman went on to raise her children pretty much on her own.

She raised some amazingly strong woman. My aunts (all 6 of them, if you include my mom in the group) inspire awe in those who know them. The strength, the opinions, the creativity, the loyalty these women exude leaves me wanting to be like them. Wanting to be worthy of being in their family.

Tom sings a lot around the house. He makes up silly songs and just entertains the girls for hours on end.

One afternoon, he was singing a variation of his "Mama and daddy got married..." song. This one ended with, "Because mama has too many aunts."

It was funny. And true.

We got married not only because we wanted to but because my aunts told me one day to pick a date and they'd plan a wedding. And they did. And it was great.

My aunts are a force to behold when they feel like one of their own is being threatened. My mom's house was full yesterday. People came and went all day long, just stopping by to make sure that Grandma was okay, to see if she needed anything, to see for themselves that she was going still around to lead our family, to guide us on our journeys through this life.

And she is. Okay, that is. She's a little sore from the fall and tired from all the guests. But she's resilient and strong and she's going to be just fine. Thank God.

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