After the Attorney left, following a weekend stay at our house, Granny said to me “You make sure you treat him right.”
I was a little offended that her concern was for how he was treated rather than how I, her own grandson, was.
“I know he treats you right. You’re always happy.”
She wanted to be sure he was happy, too.
“Since you were little,” she went on, “I’ve always worried if you would be happy.”
Her worry mostly stemmed from how I handled the loss of both my parents in my teens. She said it turned my brother mean and turned me sad.
“And you being like you are…”
I didn’t know what she meant at first. But, as she kept talking I realized she was referring to my sexuality.
I’m not sure she has ever used the “G” word. Not to me, anyway.
She’s aware and she’s cool. But, I can’t remember her ever actually saying the word.
Like many people of a certain age, Granny worried that being gay would be a sentence of isolation and loneliness.
“I’ve seen so many live their lives without anyone.”
It was strange to hear a woman who never speaks of homosexuality, speak with familiarity.
It made me ask if she knew folks or had friends.
She looked at me like I had a horn on my head and asked if the sky is blue.
“Nobody has ever walked this earth that doesn’t know folks.”
I guess you don’t get to be 97 years old1 and not.
And apparently I was one of those folks she knew even before I knew it.
“You weren’t ‘sissyfied’ or anything,” she said.
Her busting out old school Southern vernacular made me laugh. “But, you were always up under your mama. There’s something to boy like that.”
She reminded me that she doesn’t have a lot of time left, but said that it will be a lot more peaceful for her to go knowing she didn’t leave me by myself.
“So you be good to him so you don’t lose him.”
Here I thought I’ve been looking after Granny for the last 15 years or so.
Turns out she is still looking after me.
next month ↩