My grandmother, on my dad’s side is a complex woman. She’s kind of snooty, very thrifty, and she loves her red wine. Sometimes her wine can be pink though. She is the reason I love red wine, walking, certain country songs, and cats.
My grandmother used to slow dance in the living room when I would visit her in high school. She would drag me up off the couch, and together we would dance to sappy music, twirling around the room with our eyes closed and our arms out. She did this every time I stayed over.
When I was 14 I had no clothes, they were all torn and shredding, falling apart at the seams, literally. My grandmother saw this, and bought me the clothes I needed. She made sure I had what I needed for school, and to survive. She let me go to the trendy store, and buy the clothes on sale. She always had an eye for a sale, and she would scour through the racks with me until we found something I loved.
Through-out high school when I was to poor to afford clothing, having a single mother and absentee father, my grandmother made an arrangement. Her daughter’s friend owned a thrift shop, and my grandmother had endless credit. She would let me go, and look through bags of donated clothes and racks until I found piles and piles of clothes to get me through. Her daughter’s friend called me Becky, and made fun of me about cute boys.
When I was 17 and had walked to my dad’s apartment, only to discover he was there with a girl barely over 18 and she had no idea who I was because he had made me sound younger and less present, I ran back to my grandmother’s house crying. She held me, and stroked my hair, letting me cry for awhile. I remember she told me that no one could help my father’s antics, but it would be okay in the end.
When I graduated high school and was sobbing in the backseat of her car, after leaving that town, she turned and said, “this will pass too, you’ll be fine, trust me,” in the most joyful tone, grinning at me. I couldn’t help but grin back.
When I was 23 and living in her house, she told me she was surprised I turned out so well because of who my mother was. She told me I was more than my parents, and I could do anything.
When I left for the new job, moving out one afternoon, she hugged me and said, “go kick ass babe, you can do anything,”
My grandmother and I do not have a complicated relationship. She supports me when I’m down, lets me make mistakes, and dances with me in the living room. She was my rock, my supporter, and my best friend. She still is my best friend in many ways. I miss her, and nothing else about that house or small town I lived in for a year.
She is the reason I love red wine, cats, walking, and country music…but only certain songs. She is the reason I dye my hair, because I used to talk to her about it, and she did it so much as well.
I love my grandmother, and that is that.