Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Back Up to Me
My grandmother was one of four girls. She never had her own bed. She slept with her sister Ruth, and the two girls would lie on their sides, back to back, keeping each other warm, not to mention providing good back support.
Ruth died young. I never met her.
Gramma never shook the need to "back up to" someone. In her nineties, she moved a firm couch into her bedroom, preferring it to a bed, because she could back up to it.
That's what I like about getting older.
To hell with it.
If I want to sleep on a couch, I get to sleep on a couch. That kind of thing.
I miss my Gramma.
At 87, she moved in with us to take care of my little brothers. They were 2 when my Dad left. I was 17. She insisted on getting me a high school class ring. Surprised me with it even though they couldn't afford it. It didn't occur to me until recently that the reason she was so adamant about it was because she never got one. She only went to the eighth grade.
Then I lost it.
With no reprimand, she took the original order form, and had a duplicate made. The exact one.
Years later, after I'd graduated from college, she saw what looked like the glint of a broken Christmas bulb in the radiator. She took her broom and swept out my ring. Now I have two.
I did not appreciate her enough.
Tonight before I go to sleep, I'll ask her to "back up to me" in my dreams. We have a lot to talk about.
* Doris Wilson 1902-1997