Tuesday, November 17, 2009

25 Years Ago Today

Twenty-five years ago today, I remember standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. I was nine, about two months from being ten. It was a normal Saturday afternoon.

We had a pet squirrel that fall and I was looking forward to my Mama bringing him in to school on Monday to show to my class. I don't know if it was show-and-tell (do they have that in 4th grade?) or if it was just that my teacher thought it would be fun for me to bring in the squirrel we'd been hand-raising for the last few months.

I remember the phone ringing and Mama answering it. I don't remember if it was PawPaw or Grandma Bozeman. I do remember that whoever it was called to let Mama know that her Grandma Schroeder passed away earlier in the day. I remember Mama crying and crying. I remember standing at the sink and not looking around or moving. I remember the tears silently coming down my face. I think I was afraid if I cried as hard as I felt like doing, it would make things worse.

I remember Braxton and Andy (my brothers) coming in and not understanding. They were only seven and four. I remember that Mama was nine months pregnant, and Daddy was worried about her being so upset. My memory of the day is jumbled with memories of orange and quilts and polka dotted navy blue and I don't know if we were looking at quilts Grandma Schroeder had made or I was remembering her and those are the images that stuck with me. I remember being so so sad.

I remember that we had visited her in March or April in Louisiana and that she was so sweet to us. I spent one day in her room while she told me all about her life. I regret that I was only nine and didn't know well enough to write any of it down.

Grandma Schroeder and me, Spring 1984

I remember when Grandma Schroeder still lived in Georgia in Grandma and PawPaw Bozeman's house. She lived in the back bedroom and she kept vanilla wafers (in the crinkley bag) in a cabinet near her bed. She gave out tight hugs and cookies. She so often in my mind is wearing a navy blue dress with white polka dots. I still have a few pieces of that fabric in a quilt that either she or my Grandma Bozeman (her daughter) made.

This day and the next were two of the most momentous days in my young life.


Sian said...

A very moving story very nicely told. I love how you kept adding the little details which carry your reader along with you as you remember

Kel said...

I had actually read the next post first, through the vagaries of google reader. Both beautifully told and very moving. Thank you for sharing with us.