Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grandma Pierce

Mother only had about a fifth grade education, but she was an avid reader.  Therefore, there wasn’t any subject that she didn’t know something about and had an opinion about.  Although she didn’t have a formal education, because of her tendency to read any and everything she could get her hands on, this made up for her lack of education, to a certain degree.  She was a very intelligent person to talk to and certainly one of the most interesting characters you would ever meet.  She was a talented western artist.  She was a wonderful soprano singer in her younger days and sang at many funerals and gospel meetings.  What kept her from achieving a lot in her life was the lack of a good education.  She would never have admitted it, but she was very self conscious about her lack of a good education.  But, this was not her fault.  Her parents would take her to the cotton patch to pick cotton instead of putting her in school.  She also had a very shy streak.  She avoided any kind of a social interaction.  But, if you could ever get her into a social situation she had a wonderful personality and would talk the hind legs off a billygoat.  She was one of the most kind and gentle people I have ever known.  She would literally give you the shirt off her back.  If she was wearing a piece of jewelry and someone commented that they thought it was pretty.  She might just take the jewelry off and give it to them, or she might order them one just like it and send it to them.  She was always afraid she would hurt some ones feelings.  When Loveta and I would take the kids on our yearly mini-vacation, mother would insist on giving us some money to help out even though she lived on a four hundred and fifty dollar check a month.  She would insist we call collect every night while we were on our vacation just because she wanted to know that we were safe.  But, mother had her faults just like the rest of us.  She was hard to make mad, but if you did, you had better find you a hole to crawl in.  She had a horrible temper if she felt like some one had done her wrong.  She had a loud booming voice.  You could literally hear her for blocks away.  It was hard to face the neighbors the next day after one of her fits.  I have often wondered if she wasn’t bipolar.  Most of the time, mother was an absolute joy to be around.  She was a wonderful mother.  She took care of our ever need and we always knew that mother loved us and would always be there for us.  Grandma Pierce was truly one of the most interesting characters I have ever known.  She was always very quirky, so when she started getting older and senile, it was hard to tell senility or mother just being mother.  She virtually thought every one was in the secret service or working under cover.  I told her one day that the only person she didn’t think was a under cover agent was me.  She then looked at me very suspiciously and said “I don’t know.  But you might be one too.”  She went to her grave thinking my brother Bill was an under cover agent.  I wonder sometimes if she wasn’t right about some things now that I think back on some things she said.  Grandma Pierce left with many funny stories and I would like to tell just a few of them at this time.  The first one I want to tell about is  the time I went to check on mother and she was just furious about something.  I asked her what was wrong.  She went and got that days horoscope.  She told me to read her horoscope. I did.  She said, “Can you believe that?”  I said “Can I believe what?’  She said, “They are accusing me of being a lesbian.  They know me better than that.”  “I said how could they possibly know you.   She said, “They have their ways.”  I then proceeded to explain to her this horoscope had nothing to do with being a lesbian.  She was reading it wrong.  Mother was never one to admit she was wrong about anything.  She simply replied, “Oh.”  It was never mentioned again.  The next story I want to tell is about the home health house keeper.  Mother’s health began to fail.  She was getting older and she refused to take her medicine.  So, the doctor thought she needed some help at home.  The lady they sent out from home health’s name was Francis.  Now Francis started out being a lot of help, but that didn’t last very long.  She turned out to be  horrible.  But, mother was lonely and Francis would listen to mother talk instead of working.  But, mother grew to like her very much.  So, one day mother decided to give her a compliment.  “She told Francis that she was so nice that she almost had the personality of a white person.”  Francis got really mad.  Mother couldn’t understand why she got mad mother said, “I was just trying to give her a compliment.”  My last story is a relatively short story.  I never buy lottery tickets, but once in a while Loveta will buy a ticket or two if the pot gets pretty big.  So, the prize had gotten up to seventy five million and Loveta decided to buy a couple of tickets.  While she was buying the tickets, she suddenly decided she would buy mother one.  When she took the ticket to my mother, my mother said, “I don’t know whether to take this or not, I am afraid if I win the seventy five million, I’ll loose my Medicaid.”  Needless to say, we all cracked up. I will end this by just saying mother was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and person.  She has been dead for thirteen years now, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, miss her, and wish she was still here.         

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