Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Intentions

I grew up next to my grandparent's dairy farm until I was 5, and my grandma kept chickens and sold eggs. She was a great strong lady, and I hold fond memories of those days. I just loved to spend time with her in the kitchen while she was baking, and she would sing all kinds of songs that no one else seemed to know. When she died the other grandchildren divvied up her valuables, but I asked for her mixing bowls. No better inheritance than that!

One of my most horrible memories is also of her. I was about 3 and she and I were coming into the farmhouse from the barn. I dashed up the stairs and slipped quickly out of my rubber boots. I turned and glanced over one shoulder and was surprised that I could not see my Gramma, as she had been right behind me. I decided that she must have stopped to pat the dog or take a few dry dish towels off the clothes line. Well, I also knew that I should shut the door from the porch to the house as quickly as possible to keep any flies out. Being an obedient child I slammed it with gusto.

There was a sickening crunch and then the cry of pain. Gramma had been right behind me, but had crouched down behind the door and had steadied herself to take off her boots. Her fingers had slipped into the open door frame and I had slammed the door shut across her knuckles.  I don't know who cried harder, Gramma in pain with her hand all bloody under the cold running water or me in utter shame.

1 comment:

  1. ...Speaking of stories, I love yours about your grandmother. I am glad you shared it. I like the way you write. I was right there in the kitchen one minute and in the next I was wincing at the thought of fingers closed in a door jamb! Three paragraphs written and volumes said. How painful for your grandmother; how traumatic for you. I can only wonder how many years of therapy it took you to recover.... Better yet, I can guess that your grandmother, pain and all, was present and loving enough to tend to both her bleeding hands and you. Sometimes parents don't have the capacity to manage both, but by the time they become grandparents some have learned to handle more than one front at a time.... Yours sounds like one of those: the ones we remember fondly because they loved us so well.
    Muddy Bill, March 29, 2011