109, 111, 10, and 1 (SOLSC 4)

Today my grandmother would have been 109 … or 111, depending on whether you believed her or her documentation.  And in a few days it will mark 10 years since she passed.  It’s hard to realize that already 10 years are gone, 10 years without her giving me that look that tells me she loves me but doesn’t really understand me, or the other look that says she loves me but I am just too silly, or the look she gave me one time when I went to her house and fixed lunch for us using a recipe I’d just learned from my new favorite cookbook, The New Basics: I love you, but what is this, and do black people eat it?

My grandmother was my dad’s mom, and we called her Mom (as we called my mother’s mother Mother).  She is the one I look like.  I wrote about her here a few years ago, just as surprised then at the passage of time as I am today.  How can it be that I am already 10 years without her?  When I sat down to write this post, my brain kept telling me it was only 5 years — and that seemed too long to be real, too — and then I started typing and realized my error.  2003 to 2013.  It’s easy math, but so hard for my heart.

And the “1” from the post title is me: 1 granddaughter thinking tonight, missing Mom.


Today is also Miriam Makeba’s birthday.  She would have been 81 today (which Google highlighted).  I wrote about her when she passed in 2008, but I don’t think I ever made the connection that she and Mom were born on the same day.

And now I’m thinking about them meeting on the other side, and Miriam teaching Mom to sing the click song.  I’m going to go to sleep on that image …



Check out the rest of the slices at Two Writing Teachers.

12 thoughts on “109, 111, 10, and 1 (SOLSC 4)

    1. Thanks, Christina. Mom was super special to me. Sometimes I kick myself, thinking I didn’t do a good job of letting her know … but if I had said that to her, she’d have given me one of her looks …


  1. Thanks for sharing about your grandmother. I can tell how important she was in your life. I am always amazed at the passage of time. How does it speed up?


  2. “It’s easy math, but so hard for my heart.” This line packs so much power. Your writing touched me… another reminder of how much I miss my grandma too. Thank you for sharing.


  3. It’s always hard when our elders are gone, because they’ve been there all our lives, and we think they’ll always be there. And thank you for posting Miriam Makeba’s song — I have a vinyl recording of it somewhere. It’s always amazing to me the sounds human language can make.


  4. I love your descriptions of the looks your grandmother gave you. They say so much about the relationship you had with her.

    I went back and read your post of a few years ago. What an amazing woman she was. She clearly touched many lives. (Human and plant! Like you, I also did not get a green thumb.)

    Loved the click song, too. I didn’t know it.


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