This is post is written for the Red Dress Club Memoir Link up You can read about the prompt here
I have very few memories from my childhood. Maybe it’s because I truly don’t remember, but mostly because I don’t want to remember. I listen to others tell of their birthday parties, Halloween costumes, and I wonder what was I for Halloween? Did I even go trick or treating? What kind of cake did I have for my party? Did I even have a party? For all of the things I don’t remember, there is one memory I treasure the most. That memory is of my grandmother.
She was my hope. She made me laugh. She made me feel. Loved.
I didn’t get to see her very much. She worked second shift at a factory so was often gone when I returned home from school. As soon as I would get home, I would walk into her room. I could still smell the lingering scent of her lotion and hairspray. I would sit on the bed and think of her. My love of reading and writing comes from her. She always had a book with her. Was always reading something. Our house was filled with books. Many a summer’s day she and I sat in the backyard, stretched lazily in lawn chairs, reading.
I would often sneak out at night and lie in those lawn chairs. Looking up at the stars and waiting for her to come home from work. Just lying there, remembering a joke we had shared or a story she had told me. Feeling close to her. I could never tell her what she meant to me. How she made me feel, but she knew. I can still hear her voice, “Wake up. It’s time to go inside”. She never yelled at me for being outside, alone, at 2 o’clock in the morning. I would rub my eyes, yawn and stretch. I would sit there for a moment. Blinking. Then slowly I would get up and we would go inside together. My grandfather had not bothered to check if I was in my room or not and would often lock the door when he went to bed. So most nights I would be locked out until she got home to let me back in, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the cool breeze. The world was different at night. I was different at night.
I would make her a cup of coffee and we would sit at the kitchen table. She would slowly sip her coffee and tell me about her day at work. I would sit there just soaking in her every word. Then no longer being able to keep my eyes open, I would go to bed. She would sit there for a while longer. Drinking coffee. Reading a book. She would turn the light off in the living room where I slept when she went to sleep. So strange. I could sleep outside, in the dark alone, but I could never fall asleep in that house unless she was there. She made the house a home.