Goodbye Granny

Granny and me on my wedding day.
Granny and me on my wedding day.

This morning I woke to the news that we’d lost my Granny last night.

She was my last living grandparent and one heck of a zany, spunky, funny, caring lady.

I don’t want to share anything sad and heavy in her memory because I know she wouldn’t want that.

She loved to laugh and make others laugh and I know she would get a good chuckle at me sharing this story with people.

Below is one of my fondest and funniest memories from my Granny.

I wrote this short piece last fall in response to my then writing group’s prompt to write about the color red.

I’ll never forget that summer day. Even though I’m sketchy on the exact year, I think it was 1984 or possibly ‘85.

The three of us loaded up in my Granny’s silver Ford Escort hatchback and headed up to the gas station. It was a short jaunt from her apartment to the Shell, and being that I was only 4 or 5 years old at the time, I don’t recall much about the drive. My memory has always been stuck on what happened when we pulled into the gas station.

I was in the backseat and my older sister Tawnya was riding shot gun. Once we arrived at Shell, I remember Tawnya trying to get Granny to stay in the car.

“I’ll fill the gas can, Granny,” she offered.

But, Granny being Granny, always nimble and spry for her age, she gave a pull on the vehicle’s parking brake and hopped from the car.

My next memory from this day is of the color red.

The scarlet hue of the gas can my Granny pulled from the back of the hatchback.

The crimson stain on my sister’s cheeks.

And of course, the fire engine red “bikini top” my Granny was sporting with her cut off denim shorts.

Yes, our sixty-something year old grandmother in a homemade two-piece swimsuit was the scourge of my sister’s teenage existence, at least for that moment it was.

With no shame, my scantily-clad Granny filled the gas can and even ran inside to pay for the fuel.

When Granny returned to the car she just couldn’t understand why Tawnya had scrunched down to the point where it looked like no one was sitting in the passenger seat. Our drive home was uneventful.

We arrived back at Granny’s and she mowed her lawn dressed in what my family now likes to call Granny’s grass-cutting attire-her bra and panties dyed the most shocking shade of red I’ve ever seen.