GRAND MOTHER & GRAND FATHER
My Fathers parents.
Just like Father we seldom saw them. They lived so far from the house on the hill. Three towns over. 9 miles away. Christmas, sometimes on birthdays and a very occasional visit to the summer cottage. In the summer The Grandparents would always bring fresh eggs and vegetables. Just like Auntie Lydia & Uncle Lucius they raised chickens and just like Grand Ma Ma & Grand Pa Pa they raised vegetables. I only remember staying over at their farm once. For two nights. I was alone and I was terrified. I loved being alone but not alone with Grand Mother & Grand Father. I didn't feel as if I even knew these people. Yet they were my Grand Parents. Their house was beautiful but it scared me. No TV and no sitting on the front porch shelling beans, talking and counting cars. They worked all day and at night we just sat in the living room listening to The Grand Ole Opry. Fathers parents seldom talked. I thought this was strange. The music was good and I could tell just by looking into Grand Mothers eyes that she loved it. Grand Father smoked his pipe and kept his eyes closed rocking in his chair. It was almost as if he wasn't there. Kinda like Father was never there. I loved all the wonderful collections my Grand Mother had. My favorite was her collection of pigs. The big ones were cookie jars named Smiley & Winnie.
I don't remember if all of the little pigs had names but I do know that they all had a purpose. Teapot, salt & pepper, cream, sugar, syrup. Breakfast was my favorite time. Grand Mothers food was good and I was able to play with the pigs. They were my friends-the big pigs and the little pigs too. The only thing at Grand Mothers & Grand Fathers that I really loved. The Pigs.
I never understood why Grand Mother & Grand Father would share an egg. I got a whole egg to myself and they shared one? I didn't ask why because I knew that Fathers ways had come from them. I didn't want Grand Fathers belt on my butt so I just stayed quiet. I ate my whole egg and my whole piece of scrapple and my whole pancake and watched as the Grandparents shared theirs. And I played with the pigs.
I was so happy to hear Mother & Fathers car pull up into the driveway. The longest two days of my life were over. I hugged Grand Mother and waved goodbye to Grandfather and got inside the car and waited. It was a long nine miles home. I told Mother how I loved playing with the pigs but I never mentioned how the Grand Parents shared one of everything. Many years later I was vacationing at Mothers and I decided to stop and visit Grand Mother. I phoned her first just to let her know. Grand Father had long past away. I could tell just by looking into her eyes that Grand Mother was excited to see me. Grand Mother was still raising chickens and still raising vegetables but when we went inside to the kitchen I didn't see my little friends. The pigs. The pigs that had made that long ago weekend bearable. We sat at the same table where so long ago I had watched them share an egg a piece of scrapple and a pancake. And we talked. For hours. I realized that after Grand Father died Grand Mother began living. I was happy for her. As I was getting ready to leave Grand Mother said she had a box in her sewing room she wanted me to have. In the box were my friends the pigs. All of them. And I know that Grand Mother could tell just by looking into my eyes that I was happy.
It would be a few more years and many chats on the phone with Grand Mother before I would realize why the Grand Parents shared just one. Of everything. When I finally did anyone who looked into my eyes could tell I was happy.