Sunday, August 21, 2011

old photos

Karen tore up the house looking for her passport in preparation for her trip to Ethiopia in a few weeks. Thank God she found her passbook because a major clean up took place unearthing and returning to earth various strange discoveries. One of the treasures were photos of my grandmother and Laurel when she was one year old. Ma must have been close to a hundred years. I'm still amazed that a women who gave birth to eight children and ate awful food. I mean awful food! Donuts and half cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast. Beer with her supper. A shot of whiskey if she had company. And here I am eating like Ghandi with an upset stomach. So much for justice.
That's not what I started out to write. I looked at the photos and saw such love in her face for my one year old daughter. Laurel, of course, doesn't remember, but I had forgotten that look also--mores the pity. I remember the quirky, funny stories like how, if she had something on her mind, she would walk to our house next door, pass through Dr. Mary's waiting room and walk right in to ask her daughter a question. Some poor soul would be lying on the table half naked and Ma would ask every time, "Mary, you got customer?" Kind of obvious I would think. My mother would turn bright red. "Ma!, how many times do I have to tell you? They're patients! Not customers! Just what do you think I'm doing in here? Imagine the poor unfortunate lying there knowing my mother is going to take all her anger out on their naked butt when Ma finally leaves. Ma's burning question might be that she wants some milk from the store or where are we going for Xmas two months from now. Stories like this come back to me, but its that look when Laurel visited her at the nursing home that I hope Ill always remember.

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