Monday, February 13, 2006

Memories of Gram

Today being my Gram's birthday, her fifth since she's been in Heaven, it seemed fitting to share a memory here.

It was a chilly February morning when I picked Gram up for our weekly shopping excursion. It was always the same routine . . . swing by the post office, and then head to town ten miles away. But today she had an extra errand on her mind.

"My photo license came. Can we stop by the driver's license center while we're out?"

A response formed in my mind immediately. Gram had to be nearing eighty years old, and since she'd broken her hip the previous year, she hadn't been able to get around nearly as well. She really shouldn't be driving. I couldn't remember the last time she'd been out behind the wheel. Her 1969 Olds Impala sat in the garage, it's golden luster dimmed a bit by the winter's dust covering it.

"Gram, I'm not sure," I started to say. Then I bit my tongue. Of course, Gram knew she would most likely never drive again. The license meant more than permission to drive. It represented hope. It represented dignity. Most of all, it represented her identity.

I thought back to years before, when we'd be coming home from a trip to town. Gram would stop the car once we got on the gravel road leading up to her house. She'd slide over and motion for me to get behind the wheel. Then tentatively I'd slip it into gear and maneuver the old Chrysler down the road and up the path she called her driveway, coming to a stop right in front of the garage doors. She'd look at me with a twinkle of approval in her eyes. It was our little secret; if my sister knew, she knew enough not to tell.

Of course, Gram knew I was only fourteen, much too young for my license. But looking back, I think she wanted to give me a sense of confidence. She believed in me. Maybe she knew one day we'd trade places for good and it would be my privilege to chauffeur her around.

"Sure Gram, no problem. We'll stop at the license center today." I glanced over at her. The twinkle was back in her eye.


MacroMoments said...

Diane, I'm so glad you're back. This post about your Gram is precious. How sweet of you to remember this special day. It sounds like you two shared a wonderful relationship.

osray said...

My sweetie is 74 the 19th of this month and I took her to get her drivers license. She was so nervious. She has never had a moving violation or parking ticket. She read the letters on the fourth line as instructed and NO PROB! He ne license is good for four more years. Yes she had that twinkle in her eyes.