That’s me at Christmastime in 1963 wearing the black coat with the fake-fur trimmed collar – my smile is a little “off” because I had lost my two front teeth. The 2nd picture is of her with my brother and me not long before the end of her life.
I love to remember my Grandma Pater – house dresses and aprons, the way she called her perfume “toilet water,” her embroidered dish towels, wild rides down country roads (she drove fast and at one point owned a Grand Torino painted just like Starsky & Hutch’s), the way she applied her “rouge” (we call it blush these days) to her cheeks in bright circles before rubbing the color in, lunch at the cafe, sheep and ducks and chickens she raised in her grove of mostly wild trees, the homemade flannel jammies she sent at Christmas, the glass coffee pot on the stove, lacy-edged fried eggs (the best I’ve ever had!) and the way she held my hand when we walked – her fingers we long and her hand strong. And in my memory, I can hear her laugh and her voice. She was my Grammie and I was her Honeybunch. I miss her. And there are so many questions I didn’t ask – oh the things I wish I knew!
I knew her love, her voice, her touch,
But, the truth is I didn’t know very much.
She was gone before I knew what to ask,
My chance to know has long since past.
Under her nice was she naughty too?
And, what was her favorite food?
I wonder what she’d tell me about him,
The first male to get under her skin.
Or about the one whose babies she bore,
And what about those styles she wore?
Who gave her that first kiss?
Was there someone she’d always miss?
What did she dream about when all alone?
Was she ever broken in heart or bone?
What made her laugh or caused her fear?
Did she shed secret tears?
What songs did she hear in her heart?
What did she do when things fell apart?
Oh Grandma, how I wish knew,
The woman who lived inside of you.
By Joy DeKok – copyright 2012
Until Next Time,