Granny Tucker

My Granny Tucker was the kindest, gentlest soul I’ve ever known. And patient, lord above, did that woman have patience.

She came to live with my family when I was about three years old, following Grandpa’s death. I don’t remember Grandpa—probably just as well that I didn’t since according to my mama, he was a mean drunk—but I do remember Granny. I was still young, twelve or so, when she died, but many wonderful memories were crammed into those seven years, memories I’ll carry with me to my grave. And a few bad ones as well.

But I’ll get to the good ones first.

Granny read to me when I was a wee one. All my siblings were in school, and it fell to her to entertain me. But I don’t think she did it out of any sense of duty, but out of love. After I became a grandmother myself, I realized just how special grandchildren are. As a parent, one is often too busy to appreciate the company of a child, to experience the joy one feels in seeing their joy, to savor the love that fills one’s heart to bursting with love for that special little person.

But I digress.

In my mind, I see little me scrunched beside Granny in the old wooden rocking chair she favored. I hear her soft voice, feel the warmth of her thin, bony body against mine as she reads.

According to my siblings, Granny and I played teacher and student, with me insistent on being the teacher. I don’t remember this, but since my sister says I was a stubborn little thing, I’ll take it as fact. Being the spoiled baby of the family, I’m sure I was used to getting my way. I’ve mellowed since then. (“Yeah, right,” I can hear my siblings saying.)

When Granny’s sons (my uncles) visited, one of them—I think it was the uncle who always wanted money from her—invariably brought her a box of chocolate covered cherries. I don’t think Granny ate a single one; instead, she doled them out to her grandchildren. We seldom got candy, so the sweet, gooey chocolate mounds were pure delicacies to us. And to this day, my sister who is three years my senior, and I love chocolate-covered cherries with a passion.

The only mean thing I recall Granny doing was tattling on said sister and me. And looking back, I know it wasn’t really mean of her; it just seemed that way at the time.

One weekday morning, Sister and I decided we didn’t want to go to school so we pretended to be sick. Well, as soon as Mama headed out to the barn to milk the cow, Sister and I got out of bed, and if memory serves me correctly, went outside and played on the teeter-totter. Granny came out of the house and told us she was going to tell Mama as soon as she came back from milking. I suppose we got in trouble, and I suppose I was a little mad at Granny for a bit.

But I got over it. She was way too good to us kids for me to carry a grudge.

She got thinner over the years she lived with us, and frailer as well, but she told no one that she hurt or felt bad. The first clue we had that something was wrong was when I found her outside after she’d fallen. Mama took her to the doctor. I think exploratory surgery was done, and it was discovered she had colon cancer, was in fact so eat up with it that the doctors sewed her back up and sent her home to die.

And it wasn’t a pretty death; it was ugly and horrible, the way cancer most often is—at least that how it was in those times.

She had pain medication, but it could only do so much. I remember Granny telling Mama that rats were eating on her, and her taking my mama’s hand and placing it over her pubic hair to show her the rat.

Now, and even when I was just a kid, I wondered why such a good woman had to suffer so. And how could a loving God allow it?

I wasn’t in the room with her when she died, but for whatever reason, wasn’t in school that day. I remember seeing my mama crying and Daddy holding her. I remember my Grandma Workman, who was there helping out any way she could, coming into the front room to tell me what my Mama’s tears had already told me. I remember Grandma asking if I wanted to tell Granny Tucker goodbye. I remember going into the small bedroom where my Granny had breathed her last and staring at her beloved face.

But I didn’t cry. I knew that at long last, her suffering was over.

My Granny Tucker had loved to read, and that love was passed to Mama, then to me. I believe whatever small talent I have as a writer originated with those two wonderful women. That is why I use the Tucker name (It is the “T” in KT.) as part of my penname: to honor them with my words, the only way I know how.

An old Conway Twitty song titled “That’s My Job” just about sums it up. We go through our younger lives depending on our parents and grandparents to be there when we need them. But there comes a point when we step up to the plate, so to speak, and be the ones “doing the job.” The final stanza of Conway’s song brings this point home.

If you care to listen to it, I’ve added a YouTube link to it below. And if you don’t at least tear up listening to it, you’ve got a pretty hard heart.

©2021 KT Workman

That’s My Job

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

17 thoughts on “Granny Tucker

  1. Linda Workman Smith

    I was tearing up just remembering Grandma Tucker; your words brought her to life in memories.
    She was, as you say, the kindest, gentlest soul I ever knew; Mama was very much like her.
    Like you, I often wonder how often, the good or innocent people suffer so badly while many of the vile humans go through life with no consequence. I am comforted to know that they will be rewarded—or pay after this life is over.
    Love everything Conway ever did. This particular selection is a favorite as it embodies how many of us feel.
    Your work is so diverse Sister; I’m so very proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my mind, Granny sits in her rocker in front of the fireplace, soaking the heat into her tired old bones. A lot of times, I’m in that rocker with her. 💙
      Thank you for your kind words, Dear Sister. You know, you’re no slouch with a pen yourself. 😉

      Like

    1. It’s funny how things like that stick with us, influencing our likes and dislikes.
      Every year around Christmas, I buy a few boxes for myself, and think of Granny while eating each and every one.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kelly. It means a lot to me.

      Like

  2. Sandra Collins

    Such A Loving Blessed Story of Truth from the Heart ♥️ You are Such a Good Author ✍️ Your Granny is Proud of you Like Uncle Tom & Aunt Agnes 🌷Such Fine People / I Sure Loved Them . And all Your Siblings are Proud /skc Sandra Kay (Spoon) Collins – your Cousin

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete

    Why do you have to make me cry like that? I loved hearing the story of the love in our family. As everyone has said already you are quite talented as an author. I’m sure you have many other talents as well. Love you aunt Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Pete, there’s a lot of love in our big family. It’s a shame more people don’t have that…it grounds you and calls you back home.
      As for talent, I can say the same thing about you, my nephew the artist. 😊I hope you find the time to sit behind the canvas more often.
      I love you too, Pete. ❤️

      Like

  4. First of all, I love the poem that opens this post. So much of what you say is how I feel and think. But, I really enjoyed the story of your Grandmother and how she encouraged you to become the word person you are. Thanks KT for just being you,

    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You were close to your grandmothers like I was close to mine. I loved both of mine to pieces and my paternal grandmother would take me to the Sonic, yard sales, shopping. She and I used to get out and go every weekend I spent with her! Such fond memories. Also, we used to shell peas and shuck corn together! It’s times like those I cherish! Grandmothers are so special! ❤ I miss them both so much.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Grandmothers are indeed special, and the memories made with them are so precious. I have two grandsons—no granddaughters—and didn’t have the opportunity to see them very often when they were small, so I don’t have that closeness. I’m hoping for a great-granddaughter someday. 💙

          Liked by 1 person

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