Friday, July 06, 2012

Grandma Clara

My father rarely spoke about his mother. But he carried the pain of her death everyday of his life. A death so tragic, so horrific, the circumstances are not to be repeated except on the rare occasion it is an absolute necessity. Through the years, I have heard bits and pieces of her life. I know she sang like an angel, that she was noted to be the most beautiful woman for miles around, and that her nickname was China Doll. I know that she kept a spotless house while living in abject poverty. I know that after being abandoned by her husband, she would line up her 9 small children and march them down the street to church, for a while . . .

But I don't know the things I want to know. I don't know the sound of her voice. I don't know how she moved across a room, or how she smelled. I don't know if she was gentle, loud or soft. I don't know if she was funny or shy. I don't know the smell of her cooking, or the sound of her footsteps. I don't know her embrace. I don't know her dreams, or her nightmares. I don't know when she lost hope. I don't know what made her so fragile.

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