santa cruz wharf

14 January 2007

gramma's gloves

Mama gave me a pair of gloves yesterday, second hand…black kid…still smelling of leather. She asked if they would fit…the rheumatoid is taking its toll and she can’t get them on any more. As I smoothed each one over my hands….they felt like a second layer of skin, fitting perfectly. Then Mama told me they were Gramma’s. My Gramma died of a stroke in January 2001, almost six years ago. Sigh. Another story for another time.

One of the things everyone mentions about Opal Lee was how were hands were never still. Snapping green beans, stitching quilts, shuffling poker…her hands were never still. If they were empty…her gestures punctuated her storytelling. If you were sitting next to her, she was patting your knee, or holding your hand, or stroking your arm…mostly likely all three.

I have the gloves on now. They fit so perfectly they do not impair my typing. I think of all the places Opal Lee and Maggie could have worn these gloves. Of the hands they held while they had them on.
I wonder who gave these gloves to Gramma. They are not the kinda thing she would have bought for herself. I'm thinking it must have been tough for Mama to give them up...even if they couldn't be functional for her.

At a birthday lunch for my daughter Rhiannon a couple weeks ago, my mother and daughter were touting to Rhiannon’s boyfriend Jon how much alike they were. Oh yeah…it’s true. They are in many ways very similar…in those ways I am not. The whole "skip-a-generation" gig. They laughingly listed an attribute or two that I share with my Gramma. The telling and retelling of stories, a small tendency toward wanting control …a weird mind for numbers…et cetera. While each of us loved her deeply for many reasons….the similarities they listed were probably not the ones I’d include in my resume.

My daughter has already informed me that when the time comes I will be called “Gramma Kate” I am looking forward to the role. I have already planned "Camp Gramma." If I can be one third as beloved as Opal Lee I will be a great grandmother. (smile)

Leaning over between Rhiannon and Jon I said very softly, “of course you know what this means...” They both leaned towards me as I raised my eyebrows, shrugging at the inevitability and accepting their fate, “your daughters....will be….just…like….me”.


Hammer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

It's awesome that you inherited those gloves. I have some old work boots of my dad's that I cherish just as much.

Hammer said...

Oh yeah here is the where babies come from story:

Tootsie Roll

Kat in Ohio said...

How nice to have a visit from 'another kat'. I was born in California (Richmond) and also called LA, San Diego and Sacramento home before we moved to the East Coast. My grandgirls call me Nana...and they are just like me (drives their mom crazy!).