little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Dear Gran Edie,

Today, my precious grandmother “Gran Edie” is celebrating her 20th year in heaven.

Oh, how I miss you, Gran Edie.  Oh, how I love you.  Not a day goes by that I do not think about you and hold you close to my heart.

To celebrate her today, I post a poem I wrote for her nearly 3 years ago:

Dear Gran Edie,

I wonder what your greenhouse would look like right now.

The cactus would surely be in bloom and

you would have resurrected the sweet face

of that sunflower

who has bowed her head

these last 17 years you’ve been gone.

What kind of gardens do you tend in heaven?

Are they the forgotten ones along the highway

that only you acknowledge,

that only you pull over for,

even though when you get out of “Whitey” the Honda

you expose your plastic polio leg to the world?

I wonder if you’re still friends with all the folks

you used to visit in Fernandina’s nursing homes.

You were their nurse and their home,

even the ones who consciously commented

on just how much you’d “put on the weight!”

I still loved you, Gran Edie.

I even loved the way those damn cigarettes

made your laugh husky, your voice raspy –

until they awoke that insidious creature inside,

and he scarred your lungs

and then spread to your brain

when no one was watching —

when we were out in the yard,

playing on the rope swing,

throwing a stick to Tor and Buddy, and

waiting for your Andes mints to freeze just right

in your cold icebox.

I wonder if you know that you’re the namesake

of my little girl.

I want to sing lullabies to “Martha Edith”

and call her “Edie” for short

and sigh when she responds,

knowing your glitter is in her eyes.

Well, as you know, I haven’t yet found that fella

who could give me that daughter

I’ve already named,

already held in my arms

and in my silly little heart.

You know all of that

because your blood is also mine

and you’re in Mama’s daily greetings,

her worries, and in

her gnarled and beautiful hands.

And so you tell me to tend to the wildflowers

and give thanks for the children I already have

in my care.

And I, your 30-year-old grandchild (almost),

open the door to your greenhouse

and finger your seeds in my hands.

–CCT

July 16, 2009

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4 thoughts on “Dear Gran Edie,

  1. Martha Tate, LCSW on said:

    Carter,
    What a dear, dear poem to your beloved Grandmother. I am touched. Much love, martha

  2. Sweet Martha, thank you. I miss you! I miss you very much, and I pray you are well, friend, and that I’ll be able to see you at Pilates soon!

  3. Pingback: Grandmothers | little bit of lagniappe

  4. Pingback: The Peace of Wild Things | little bit of lagniappe

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