Grandmother’s hands are no longer swollen. For the first time in well over a year, they look normal, except for the exquisite frailness. Already they look lifeless, clenched tightly around nothing, but they are of normal size again. When I saw them last night, I thought of all the things those hands had done for me.
Grandmother sewed clothes for me until I was 10 or 12. She painstakingly sewed Barbie clothes for my Barbies, incredibly detailed. She made quilts for my dolls. She made quilts for my first 6 children. And the stitching in the last one is hideously horrible and crooked and I think I love it the best because she tried so hard and it was the last thing she ever sewed, a quilt for my 6th born child.
She made food: fried chicken, pecan pie, cakes, biscuits. I can still remember the smell her ancient kitchen aid mixer made when she used it. Yes, I said smell. It’s ok, not a mistake. Little green lima beans. Grits, with bacon crumbled up in them, that I ate while I watched Saturday morning cartoons.
No one else ever loved me like that. And I sit and cry and wait, and think. She kissed me not long ago. An act so unexpected, it took me awhile to realize what had happened. I leaned over to hug her before I left, though she had long since stopped responding to hugs, and she kissed my cheek. A final benediction.