Before I start the post for today, I want to thank all of you for being here to share with me in my thoughts and stories. I’ve had several more visitors this week than I think I’ve ever had. So, I just wanted to say welcome! This blog has been around since 2011, but I only recently got back into writing. I hope to stick around for a while, so I encourage you to follow me by email or with your own WordPress account. I may even offer up a nice subscriber freebie in the near future…
On to the memory for today!
Isn’t it significant when a child realizes that adults are human beings too? Not just that they occupy space and do all the things human beings do, but that they have faults and flaws? Depending on your situation, you may find this out very early on or much later when you are almost an adult yourself.
I can’t say I know exactly when this happened, but I have a guess.
My brother and I used to stay at my Ma’s mother’s house when I was young. Ma worked full-time, so I rode the bus to Granny’s after school every day. I also used to spend my summer’s in her house, reading and doodling in a corner at the bottom of the stairs. I would help her cook a big lunch for my Pappaw and my uncle each day. Afterward I would help her sweep up the kitchen, and then go about my business.
When I was somewhere in the neighborhood of eight years old, she asked for my help with a project. I agreed to it and was excited about being helpful. Now, my Granny was not a spring chicken – she and my Pappaw had been a bit further up in age when they had kids compared to others of their generation. My Pappaw had actually fought in World War II. So, Granny was older than my other grandmother, so she wasn’t as spry as she once had been. On top of that she was a diabetic and was legally blind. So, lots of things were harder for her.
The project she needed my help with was replacing curtains over the sink in her kitchen. This seemed simple enough. At least it would have been for someone younger than her and older than me. She could reach to get the curtain rod down, we successfully put the curtains on the rod, and then – neither of us could get the rod back up on the wall. I was far too short, and she didn’t have the energy or the eyesight to get the job done.
She fumbled with the curtains, and I watched. I tried to help, but determined I was definitely too short to be of any help. She became very frustrated. Eventually she started crying. Then she just gave up, sat down in a chair, and cried uncontrollably.
Now, I had seen adults cry before. I had seen adults upset before. But this wasn’t like anything I had seen. The look of utter failure she had on her face as the tears rolled – it unnerved me. I wanted to be of help. In fact, I think I tried once more to stand on my tip toes and stretch as much as I could, but I still couldn’t reach. I didn’t try again. She sat there crying for a long time. I’m not sure exactly how long, but I was very uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to comfort her, as I was usually the one being comforted in such a situation.
I could not help her. So, I just stood there while she cried. It was all I could do.