Texas girl in the middle of Kiwiana

Amy Boatman

Home / Essays / 2006 / December / My Granny

My Granny

I have been told my whole life about my granny running to put me in my crib when she saw my parents' headlights and then telling them she hadn't been holding me all night. My first memory is of lying on the floor of my bedroom crying hysterically because she and grandpa had just left. For as long as I can remember she has been my favorite person. Being the only girl in the family, she always tried to dress me up in frilly dresses. Hat, gloves, tights, frilly dress, frilly socks, patent leather shoes, the whole bit. I hated wearing that stuff. So, as much as she wanted me to dress like that, she did what I wanted instead. She bought me a pair of red cowboy boots, red jeans, a blue shirt and a red vest. I even had a red hat and cap pistols. I loved that outfit. I have always loved that she never tried to fit me into a mold but just let me be how I wanted to be.

I remember sitting on her lap with my ear against her chest listening to her talk to Meme. I don't know what they were saying but just the sound of her voice made me feel so safe and loved. She loved me more than I even know probably. And she spoiled me rotten too. She could never so no to me. And I did exploit it a little when I was much, much younger.

I was so blessed to get to be there for her these last five months since grandpa died like she was there for me my whole life. As much as they fought when he was alive, she felt his absence immensely. She was never the same after he died. I got to spend Thursday morning with her. She hadn't been able to go to the beauty parlor for a while since she couldn't drive and I worked Monday through Friday. But Thursday I was going to work late so I could come in late. I told her to make an appointment as early as possible on Thursday. I figured 8:30 or 9. It was for 7:30 that morning. Only for her would I have gotten up at 5am. So I got to her house at around 7am. She told me she had seen grandpa walking from the garage into the living room and then into the kitchen just like he always used to do. I think maybe he came for her. Anyway, we got to the beauty parlor and all her old friends were there. She hadn't been able to do her usual Thursday morning appt for over a year so she hadn't seen them for quite a while. They coo cooed over her and told her how sorry they were that Roy had passed. She was the center of attention which she always loved. We went to breakfast at Denny's and she was so happy to have her hair looking pretty. She was always worried about being a burden and said so for the umpteenth time that morning. I told her that everyone who knew me knew she was my favorite person and I was so glad I got to do stuff for her.

I left her that morning sitting on the couch. I never thought it would be the last time I would see her. When she was a young woman, she was gorgeous. She was what you think of when you think of a 40s fashion plate. I keep having this vision of her hopping up off the floor, 20 years old again and running off to be with those she's lost over the years. My life is never going to be the same without her. There will always be this big gaping whole where she used to be. But the measure of my pain is also the measure of my love for her. She was the best grandmother any kid could ever ask for. She always used to tell me how special I was and how I brightened up her day. Well, she was special too and any day I got to talk to my granny was a brighter day for me too. I loved her so much and will miss her everyday.