She was drinking food through a straw and unable to get to the bathroom by herself by then. I was soaking her feet, brushing her hair, holding her to sleep. She woke up coughing in the night with no relief except for codeine cough syrup. And yet, she found the joy in sneezing.
Grandma’s trailer had been dingy from the outside, but the inside was immaculate. She had one of those old radios that looks like it’s a dresser and she only played classical music. Because of this, I thought she was rich. She lived in poverty, but she found the joy in the simplest of things: piano, cold coffee, serrated grapefruit spoons, hot tea and sneezing. She smoked cigarettes, but not pot.
However, she did grow it in the backyard when my mom and aunt were younger because she said she didn’t want her kids buying shit off the streets. Gigi was classy like that.
In a day when divorce, was a scarlet “D,” she was a single, working woman. She wore high heels every day and waited at the bus stop. She never talked about Grandpa that much except to say that he had had a metal plate in his head and “wasn’t quite right.”
I wanted to grow up to be just like Gigi. In between fishing and fantasizing about conquering the lake, I listened to classical music and learned to play “Nadia’s Theme” on the piano.
We had everything and nothing. I told myself that I was a warrior and that nothing would have that much power over me. Not even my own mother.