What’s Happening Wednesday: Memorial Day

I remember you.

The way you laughed out loud whether it was appropriate or not. The way you knew all the lyrics to all the songs, but you couldn’t hardly speak your own name. The spankings I didn’t necessarily deserve and the sloppy wet kisses on my jaw.

I remember you.

Plucking out hymns on the piano in the dining room. The hand-written notes, and the way you could fuss at us without even raising your voice. I remember choir rehearsals and Sunday School, and newspaper clippings with our names highlighted.

I remember you.

Wearing a stark white nursing uniform against that beautiful chocolate skin. Always holding at least one of your grandchildren, and never holding your tongue.

I remember you.
Rocking in the chair, nodding your head in agreement with what I now assume to be the Holy Spirit. I remember Christmas Cantatas, and the swing in the front yard. I remember scratch-made meals tailored to whatever my particular ailment was.

I remember you.
Throwing snakes on the grill. And Dominoes and Cards and drunken I love yous. And overalls, and tools, and the scariest steps I’ve ever had to climb.

I remember you.

On the bike. In your priestly garments and singing ” Oh How Sweet to walk”. And you being the only person I ever heard call your wife by her given name.

I remember you.

Giving all of us ridiculous nicknames, like Miss Too and Fat Stuff. And threatening to hang my son by his toenails. And that wacky braid you had wrapped around your head.

I remember you.

Saying, “Ms. Gab, you know you’re wrong.” And threatening to teach the kids to twerk at Vacation Bible School. And hidden money because you knew we’d need it eventually.

I remember you.

Trying to teach me to play chess. Tortoise shell glasses, and snaggle-tooth smile, and a trumpet in your hand. A big fight and apologies too long delayed.

I remember you and smile. Because I loved you, and feel like you probably loved me too. And I didn’t always get the chance to say it…but sometimes I did, and I am so grateful.

So I raise my glass. I say my prayers. I hug my babies. I dance. I sing. And I say thank you for the time we got together.

This I do in remembrance of you.
Mama Radford

P.S. Thank you to the people who fought on battlefields, and those who are still taking to the streets so that I can enjoy the life I have.

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