It feels irreverent to say this, but the other day I truly had a dream. I dreamed about both of my grandmothers. Totally random.
I was planning on posting a Langston Hughes poem or something in honor of MLK day, but this just was on my mind the other day and I HAD to write it. So, again, I apologize if it seems messed up to write about a dream on MLK day.
Back to the dream.
One grandma, Granny, has been gone for over twelve years. The other one, Grandma, died just two years ago. Now, I’m generally not the type of person that likes to rehash my dreams for others. Well, actually, I DO enjoy rehashing them, but I am in touch enough with reality to know that no one else gives a care about what happened in my dream. After all, dreams are a product of our unconscious or subconscious or deconscious or something Freudian like that. I don’t like to spend too much time interpreting them because they’re usually weird and involve things that make me feel uncomfortable.
I know what you’re thinking
You can just stop that right now.
What I mean is, my dreams are like freaky bouts of Cirque de Soliel. I have no clue where they sprang from, but they always involve something reminiscent and a little too close for comfort.
Well, the other night I had this dream about both of my grandmothers. I don’t think about them on a daily basis, so I was surprised when they surfaced. I was highly emotional in my dream–crying over missing them and wanting to talk to them. And I can honestly say today that I wish I could talk to them. I wish I could pick their brains more.
Now that I have a daughter I see how significant a grandmother is. I think Coco will be closer to both grandmothers than I was to mine simply because both of my mamas (yes, that’s how tight my mom-in-law and I are) are more psychologically squared away. She knows her Mimi and Nama almost as much as she knows me. She recognizes their differences and responds accordingly. I think that’s awesome. I am thrilled she has a unique, and special relationship with each of her grandmas. Yesterday, she talked to Mimi on the phone for at least 30 minutes. Leann is a dear and has the patience of a turtle. Does that make sense? Coco would talk for a few minutes, then run off to pull out yet another pair of my high heels (WHY do I own those???), clip clop around the house, and then resume whatever stream of consciousness she had Mimi entrenched in…
“I nurse Violet…I give big loves…I go poo poo in my panties…Mimi’s coming five days…ABCQRSWXABC…Yay! I did it! I watch hotdog…You’ll be in my heart.”
Honestly, Faulkner couldn’t do better if he tried.
Fast forward five hours and she’s skyping with Nama. Nama reads books, shows her Stinky and Mima (the poor kitties) while Coco tries to maneuver the computer away from Mommy and Daddy’s grasp. Probably the most pitiful moment was when she scurried off to her book collection and pulled one out for Nama to read.
“Here you go,” she said as she set it beside the computer.
I believe she fully expected my Mom to reach out, take the book, and begin to read it to her.
I kind of choked on a tear at that moment.
Grandmas are truly a gift.
Or a curse, I suppose…I’ve heard of some terrible grandmas. But in my case–both past and present–they are huge blessings.
My daughter gets to capitalize on the unique traits of each grandmother and glean special attributes from both of them.
At this point, in her two-year-old way, Coco enjoys saying “Girlfriend” and then reminding us that “Mimi do that.” She likes to “tickle tickle” like a “crab” and “No, Mama. Nama do’ed that.”
I realize that “girlfriend,” and tickling might not amount to too much right now, but this dream I had highlighted the importance of these little things.
These are memories that will stick.
I used to kind of laugh at how my Grandma would save everything–including foil. Maybe there was only four inches left of the stuff, but she would save it and use it. She was definitely a product of the Great Depression. Every leftover food, toiletry, cleaner, you-fill-in-the-blank was saved and USED. Well, here we are. Living on one small salary. Every time I forego throwing something away I think of Grandma. I imagine her hardships as a little girl in the oil fields and my crowded life on campus doesn’t seem that bad. Yes, I can eat this soup for a third, fourth, or fifth time (yeesh) if it means saving a day’s lunch. Why not? It’s still good, right?
I used to scoff at eating leftovers. I used to get irritated at finding a solitary piece of foil in our drawer (curtesy of Grandma). Now, I’m glad I save that stuff. Each day I squeeze out more use means less money spent. Even though I’ve never lived through a depression I operate as if I have.
Thank you, Grandma.
And on second thought, I guess I am living in a depression, right? The economy sucks.
I kinda feel like I channel a lot of my Granny’s energy out in the day to day. Granny is who I take after, appearance wise, and some of my memories with her are my sweetest in childhood.
Picking wildflowers, looking at her perfume bottles, watching her unpack all her stuff that was neatly stored away in grocery bags so that everything in her suitcase was compartmentalized.
Guess what? I pack stuff in grocery bags too.
So, I fear at this point (if you are still reading) that you might only see that I’ve inherited an affinity for scraps of foil and used grocery bags. If so, you’ve missed the point. The POINT of all this is that I’m a product of both of my grandmas. They’ve affected my day-to-day life in unique ways.
|This is my Grandma|
|This is Granny. Hard to tell in this photo but I think we look alike.|
|Mimi–photo taken a long time ago, obviously.|
|Nama and little miss blackfoot.|
I am so thankful that my daughter will inherit traits from both of her grandmas and flourish from their examples. It’ll be hilarious to hear her call her daughter “girlfriend” someday and tickle her kids like a crab. Whatever that means.