For the last 25 years I have been a three legged woman. I have walked with my Grandmother and my Mom. I resemble them, in looks, in speech and in manner. All of it makes Johnny tremble, with a bit of fear and a lot of laughter. That is the way we do it. We laugh and we press on.
Thanksgiving is a week away. The Workman clan won’t be at the corner window table devouring delectable dishes from The Pines this Thanksgiving. We are plunging into muddy waters that are unknown and feel a bit frigid. This is uncomfortable. Crazy indeed, but I miss the anxiety created by Holidays. My Grandmother always pretended the Holidays made her more nervous than joyful, but I know the truth. She loved each Holiday and awaiting the arrival (yes I was always late and Mom was always early) of our family and watching the boys devour an embarrassing amount of food from the buffet. She loved watching the choices my children made and she encouraged them to treat themselves to two desserts on Holidays. The grits were always their favorite; I think it was the heavy cream. She ate like a bird so she could take in every moment of those memorable meals.
For so many years Mom, Emmer and I were the three legged human. Sometimes I think we were more like a kangaroo where two feet did the work while one was carried in the pouch. We took turns being the Mother of us all. Though I will say my Grandfather coined the phrase “mother of us all” when referencing me in his genealogy some 30 years ago. Brilliant man!
There is no pouch anymore. There are two legs now and we have to walk. Emmer taught us well. She trained us well. I trust she delights in her own humor and spirit that Mom and I display. I am not walking alone. We demonstrate the sincerity, the determination and the (sometimes brutal) honesty that my Grandmother taught us both. This Thanksgiving I will walk on two legs, sometimes one of mine and one of Mom’s and sometimes just my own. Regardless they bare the weight of life lessons that make me the person I am today.
I miss her deeply. In the end, I am grateful, for Emmer, that she has finally found her resting place. I will forever treasure my years of loving her, laughing with her, crying with her and learning from her. Enjoy your Thanksgiving at home Emmer. We love you and we miss you. Above all, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you.
© Copyright Gatewood Campbell, November 2013