I remembered my grandma’s hair today. She had this little vanity. Used to roll it up at night and put her net over. In the morning she was careful about it.
She had good hair. In her 80’s it was still pretty full and it was white. Really white like forgiveness. Something about it carried a message. “Here is a woman who has beauty.”
When my grandfather died, I am told that there were men who wanted to marry her. Men with farms, a business or something to offer. Grandma, when she thought the time was right, would introduce them to her four sons. Big sons, with big bones and the quietness from working in the inconsiderate conditions of nature and element. Sons who had a father once but lost him, like a ring that slips off your finger in the water without you knowing it was gone. Worse than that.
It’s important to have a message when you live under working conditions, where horrors happen. A little sister burns to death in front of you. Your finger gets twisted off in a washing machine like a bottle cap. You canned. Canning was never a hobby for Grandma but I never had the sense that she disliked it.
What made Grandma’s hair stand out so for me and my brothers was that it was her indulgence. Why an old woman with no teeth, in a wooden farm-house sleeping next to a man she didn’t marry for love, (although she loved him), would roll her hair every night as if she was going to have family pictures in the morning – just has to make you smile.
She used to leave her dentures in a cup of water by her bed and her mouth would leak a little when they weren’t in. How good her kisses were. I’m glad I didn’t know to think they were gross. Even when Grandma got really old, smelled like medicine and her rotting insides, I didn’t think so.
Mom would go in and roll Grandma’s hair for her because her fingers turned at odd angles. She couldn’t do her hair and she couldn’t play piano. Later, when moved into a nursing facility, there was a beauty contest. My mom found out about it and enrolled my grandma without her knowing. She told Mom afterward that she won because of her hair. I had never heard Grandma talk about her hair like that, even though the rest of us had, and my brother’s and I laughed until we cried. And then we cried some more.
Question: What is your indulgence? What is the message in it from your secret self out to the world? What does it bring to your ability to be your own friend. Please tell me your story.
Self-Care Tip – Celebrate your indulgence, acknowledge its message about you and see what it brings to your ability to be your own friend.
- One Tough Lady (juwannadoright.wordpress.com)
- Grandpa Miguel Cecilio (from the collection, Specter) (cannyuncanny.wordpress.com)
- Finding grandma’s recipes (gicrockpot.wordpress.com)
- Spending the Night With Big Viv (lifethrugrace.wordpress.com)
- Grandma, You Look Like a Yodeler (dyingbraincells.wordpress.com)
- On Not Going Quietly Into the White (anniegirl1138.com)
- Grandma’s Ghost Adventures (cgmatteo.wordpress.com)
- Screw you, Alzheimer’s. (jasonsamluv.wordpress.com)
- Grand-ma the Great (foodservicewarehouse.com)
- Grandma B: The Woman Who Breathes Giggles Into Me (thegreenstraw.wordpress.com)
- Love By Association (frumesarah.com)
- Back to Grandma’s House We Go (claudsy.wordpress.com)