It is not Mother’s Day today, but I will have a nice surprise for you tomorrow.Today, I look to my two grandmothers. Grandma Caroline was my bingo partner and served us high tea every afternoon. I was nine when she passed. I never lost a bingo game with her or her friends. Consequently, my grands have never lost a game either. Her home is no longer standing but it had huge ceilings and the furniture seem so large. At one point, I was able to walk under the dining room table without hitting my head. She had a closet off of the parlor that held the toy box. I have a closet here which holds the toys. I remember her smile. I remember the strong courageous woman who came over to America for a chance at a better world. I am proud to call her my grandmother and I miss her very much.
My maternal grandmother was Marie. Her friends called her Mame. I called her Grammy. I had her until I was sixteen as opposed to being only nine when I lost Grandma Caroline. I spent summers with Grammy and Grandpa Fanta here in Cleveland. They both spoke perfect English and grandma was a good cook. As I went from toddler to teen, it was her love which kept me going in a straight line. I have missed her so for 40 years Neither were able to control the wild child within me, but they helped me to see that I was just regular and being myself was a wonderful accomplishment.
Grandmother Caroline Salter and myself
The Sound of my Name
” Over and over
I call her back to me—-
her flowered bathrobe
with pink trim around the collar
glasses a little crooked
hair wispy white.
Scuffling blue terrycloth slippers
she turns toward me,
grasping the counter edge for balance,
and speaks my name
with more love than anyone
ever squeezed into one word.
Over and over
I listen to the sound of my name—
the memory of her, speaking my name.”