My Maw, as I like to call her, or my momma’s momma as the folks from town say, comes up from the grave to have coffee with me on occasion. That’s our ghosts; the warm fuzzy childhood memories we couldn’t shake on account of them being so damn good.
We don’t say much, she and I.
We sit near each other on two straw-weave chairs that, as it happens, were once her’s. My womanly build exposed in fitted slacks and a white button-down, and her slender frame covered in a long flower-infested moo moo, compare in contrast more truths about our personality than our attire. My Maw had the kind of class that never depended upon a wardrobe; I admire that about her.
I have three cups to her one cup, and though we both face these oversized windows to lively people in an even lovelier world, I notice it’s the paper in her hands she brings in close. We enjoy an easy going silence that’s practiced over time. I still find trouble telling her all the things that are too easily chatting in my mind. Good things, obviously.
One memory with her, in particular, comes up often as she very intently saved me from a stupid bit of misguided decision. It defines that moment in time when a southern girl gets called into womanhood by her elder.
And not just any elder.
No, we don’t always listen to every elder steering us north and south. This would be my momma’s momma telling me like it is. A voice any young southern lady is sure to heed. And a wisdom she’s meant to apply. Promptly.
I glance back over at my Maw and see her sitting next to me with her head and hand entirely focused on the damn crossword section of the newspaper. Well, ain’t that a perfect place to begin this here story because that’s exactly what I arrived upon this day almost seventeen years ago.