As I write this my grandma is in the hospital in a coma and the newspaper is two days away from print. I am even off schedule and trying to sneak this in after deadline. It has been a hectic week.
My grandma is named Darlene. She was proud, fierce, loving, mean, and the biggest Cubs fan in the world. Any other time I wrote about her, I had to ask permission and promise her a big roll of hamburger from the grocery store. She is going to k’ata me for this, I know, but I have to tell you about this woman, this Lakota woman who raised so many.
I always broke my mom’s heart when I was a little girl and cried to spend summers, school years and so on with my grandma. She had the best sense of humor, even when I was a child. I slept right by her and kicked her all night. She would complain all the next day, but look for me at bedtime again. I was the first and oldest grandchild. I was spoiled by uncles, aunties, Grandma Dod and Grandpa Rusty. I remember her going to war for me many times, as she did for many children and grandchildren. She wasn’t scared of anyone, and if she was, she sure never showed it.
One thing I always remember about my grandma is her feet. I was a bad sleeper, all over the bed. But anytime my grandma’s feet touched me, I moved away. They felt like the bottom of moccasins, hard and smooth at the same time. She hated wearing shoes and if you ever saw her walk, she walked like her toes never touched the ground.
I don’t have that walk, but I inherited her feet. I did, they are like moccasin soles and carried me for 36 years. I was thinking about that today, missing when I used to analyze her feet. I thought of the times I saw my grandma on those feet, sometimes barefoot, sometimes with her shoes on. Like when she beat an art teacher with her purse for making my auntie scrub his classroom floor with a toothbrush. Or when she watched my aunties graduate high school. when she walked me up the hill to the Cohen Home to visit her mom. When she demanded better customer service from many a cashier, waitress, clerk, etc. When she buried her twin. When she buried her daughter. When she held her grandkids. When she worked in the kitchen at my step dad’s funeral. When she went to work everyday, even at the age of 73. When she beat lung cancer in 98. When she rushed to the hospital everytime a grandkid went to the emergency room. When she cried because she lost her pets Tino and Chico.
See, I have these rough feet. I pretend to have a foot phobia, only because I don’t want anyone to touch the feet that I walk around barefoot on.
The truth is, I have my grandma’s feet, and I am very proud of that. I love you Grandma Dod, I wished I could be as brave as you someday. I hope my feet carry me through as bravely.
I debated on sending my daughter to Oklahoma with my mom for the summer, but who am I to not let the bond between a grandma and grand-daughter grow?
I wrote this for my Grandma Dod and even though I am a loyal and fierce Yankees fan, I will cheer for the Chicago Cubs to win it all for her.
Posted by Dana Dane at 6:23 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook4 comments:
Goose Creek Indian Reserve said…
You Rock! Sounds like Grandma does too. Be well….Jm.
July 30, 2008 8:34 AM
Here I sit in Oklahoma with tears in my eyes reading this. I barely finished it without screaming and crying for all the sorrow I feel in losing her. Nell just held the phone to her ear so I could say good night, maybe for the last time. I have to tell you when I walk my toes don’t touch the ground either.
July 30, 2008 9:08 PM
Dana Dane said…
I love you mom, I don’t tell you enough. Thanks for sharing me with her.
July 30, 2008 9:18 PM
Mike S said…
What a wonderful tribute to an obviously special woman. I’m so glad you got to know her so well.
August 2, 2008 12:29 AM
Grandma this shit never got easier. Never, I hope I am half as awesome as you were in life.