We didn’t start the fire, and neither did she, but she certainly kept the flame burning bright…
My grandmother was born in Kansas, the baby of six children. Her father died when she was 6, and she never knew her eldest sister because she died at the age of 2.
She was a farm girl, a valedictorian, a football queen, and a college graduate.
She taught English for 30 years, was Teacher of the Year, District, and Region and started the Public Library for that small town in South Texas that probably had the first drug store.
She had two children while she continued to work…
She was the original working mother.
And one night I had the privilege of sleeping in the same room with her and she spoke about the beauty of the nominative participle…until 1 a.m.
There is much to say about her, but I think the poem I wrote in college says it best…
I remember how she used to touch her hair,
and how she labeled all her Tupperware.
I remember when she was Salutatorian at 13 and Valedictorian at 18.
I hope I learn to say “I” instead of “Me”,
and that a deck of cards was missing its 3.
I remember she ate poached eggs for breakfast, had tea at 4:00,
and her students were silent when they heard her steps upon the floor.
Teaching English was her calling, and rightly so, her first students were her dolls,
she taught people all they needed to know.
After praying before a meal, she would always get that look upon her face,
and we knew what she was about to say –
“Did we say grace?”
I remember 40 tubes, with mirrors attached, of Instant Mocha lipstick,
and designer hose bought from Neiman Marcus.
I remember that shade of taupe she always wore,
and how she fooled her husband and didn’t get
her wedding ring melted to the core.
I remember how she said, “Goodnight!”, when she was shocked,
and how her 1000 books were organized into a card catalog..
The library would not have been possible without her,
nor would my education for that matter.
I remember how she put wax paper between her pans,
and that her favorite song could be held in the palm of your hand.
She loved the Aggies, and was once a football queen.
She was always quite the lady it seemed.
Whenever I watch the Sound of Music, I think of her.
Whenever I read the Lockhorns, I think of her.
I will always be able to feel how much she loved her husband and family.
I will always be proud of how much she accomplished
and how much she loved to learn.
And I hope I will learn to be a lady like no other –
A lady like my grandmother.