Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Grandmother

We received the sad news that my grandmother died on Saturday. I was not surprised to get the call because her health had deteriorated significantly over the last year, but I was deeply saddened by the news. I wouldn't say we were as close as some people are with their grandmothers, I'm not really sure why but I loved her dearly and feel the weirdest void. She lived most of her life in the tiniest mountain town...she was born, grew up, married, raised her kids and will be buried there. She was born in 1914 (yes, 1914!), she was 94 (yes, 94!)...that is a good long life! The year that she was born...women could not vote, Woodrow Wilson was president and World War I started. She did not really know much about cell phones, computers, DVR or e-mail...I often wonder what she thought of all that...wonder what she thought of the day-to-day when she was 40. What a truly amazing time to have lived...WWI, WWII, Vietnam, The Great Depression, the Civil rights movement, all the great eras from the 10's to the 00's. Wow...imagine all the medical, social and technological advances in that time span. It's truly an amazing thing to ponder. I have vivid childhood memories of the summers we spent at her house with my siblings and cousins. We literally ran free in the woods behind her house, ate mounds of "Bottle Caps", drank coke in bottles with peanuts in it, played cards, ate mints from glass candy jars, tried desperately to retrieve the silver dollar in the stairs out back, ate Spaghettio's at the little table in her kitchen, shucked corn and snapped peas, swam in the Dan river and the lake at Hanging Rock state park. The day after Thanksgiving we would have open faced turkey sandwiches with cheese on it cooked in the toaster over. The first snow I ever remember was at her house at Christmas. We always walked to the gas station to buy candy, roamed the town to our hearts content, went to the library and went in and out of the courthouse as we pleased...she knew everyone and everyone knew us because of her. I distinctly remember sleeping there because it was so eerily quiet and outside the back bedroom window was a street light. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and just stare at comforted me. Interestingly enough, I now have a street light outside my bedroom window and whenever I wake up...I ALWAYS think of her house and the bedroom..I literally have the exact same feelings as I did at 10 years old. One thing that always struck me about her was that she really knew how to be quiet...she could sit for hours with someone and just enjoy the company without ever really having to talk. This characteristic was lost on me...I felt awkward in the silence and never really quite understood it until I have reflected on it the last day or two, that it wasn't about the "talk" for was all about the time spent. She will be missed...

Hanging Rock State Park


  1. Dawn, I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. You have such wonderful memories of her and spending your days up at her hometown.

  2. Just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!