On Saturday we headed south to visit with my MIL and my grandma. My sweetie dropped off me, Crafty, Scout, Curly and Baby Doll at Grandma’s house just in time for us to walk uptown to see the big parade. (If you read yesterday's post, you know where the older kids went with my sweetie. Sport stayed in the valley with Bossy’s family so he could attend Bean-Dip’s birthday party.)
|My home town's one and only stoplight. It was put in about 20 years after I left.|
I kept thinking I might spot somebody I know in my hometown, but other than Grandma and my sister-in-law and her kids, I didn’t know a single person. I guess I have been married and gone for 27 years. I found myself searching the faces of the old people rather than the young ones. What does that say about me?
Anyway, after the parade, we walked back to Grandma’s (I forgot the stroller, so I was lugging Baby Doll the whole way). There was a festival going on, so tons of people were on Main Street, but I wasn’t nervous about my kids, for some crazy reason, my home town is still not a scary place. When we got back to Grandma’s, she asked me to help her color her hair. Some silly people in her life told her that she is 93 and she should just let it go gray. But why? It’s a five-dollar box of hair dye and half an hour’s worth of time to make her happy.
We got the color on and my sweetie showed up with the rest of the kids. They were itching to check out the festival, so I sent them all out the door so I could help Grandma take a shower and rinse out her hair. I wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotion that swept through me upon seeing her tiny frail body. She’d had a recent surgery on her leg and the area was about three inches wide and five inches long where the skin had been removed. As I gently washed her back and rinsed the dye from her hair, the tears flowed down my cheeks as I realized we’d come full circle. This was the bathroom where I sat as a child while Grandma washed my hair (I didn’t like it much then). This is where Mom and Grandma gave me a perm and rolled the rollers so tight it stretched the skin in my cheeks! It’s amazing I came out of that one with any hair left.
I wrapped the warm towel around her narrow shoulders and steadied her as she stepped over the edge of the tub. Slowly and carefully I helped her dress. Just this much excitement had made her tired. She was not like the Grandma I remember, yet she was still herself in so many ways. They say Memorial Day is about remembering and I spent the day doing just that. After the kids came back we piled in the van and headed to the cemetery to leave some flowers on Mom and my Grandpa’s graves. Dad was in his truck ahead of us and as we pulled in about 10 yards behind him I saw that he was talking to someone.
Remember my story about the irrigation ditch that nearly did me in as a child? Dad was talking to Mike, the guy who pulled me out. I climbed out of the van and walked in his direction. I hadn’t seen him in at least 15 years. He pulled me into a big hug and I said, "I’ve been thinking about you all week! Remember when you pulled me out of the irrigation ditch? I was just telling my kids that story…" (and all my blogging friends). He started laughing, "That was a long time ago!" We visited a little longer and he turned to leave. "Thanks, Mike," I said. I don’t think I said it as a child, but it seemed appropriate now. He smiled and waved. Yeah, it’s all about the memories…and family…and service (even from a 12-year-old boy)…and love. I hope you had all of those on your own Memorial Day weekend.
|Baby Doll got her viking on.|