Monday, July 15, 2013

She kept the light on for us.

Grandma's house, Homecoming 2005

My grandmother lived in the college town of Tuskegee, Alabama for nearly all of her adult life. She first went there as a young co-ed to attend college. There she would meet the love of her life, my granddad. All four of her children and four--wait five--of her grandchildren did, too.

Sure did.

Everyone who knew us knew Grandma. I am not even exaggerating. To better understand this, here's what you need to know about my grandmother: For as long as I can remember, Grandma would go to bed in the morning and sleep until the early evening. She'd record all of her favorite soap operas on an old school VCR and never did get on board with the DVR revolution. When my granddaddy was living, she'd make him dinner and then commence to start watching her "stories" as she liked to call them. And she did that until the next morning when she went to bed.

Sure did.

Now imagine if you were a college student and your grandmother lived within walking distance from campus and stayed up all night every night. Also imagine that same grandmother cooking every day and having a stocked refrigerator as well as a working washer and dryer. Can you think of anything better? I sure can't.

At Homecoming, Grandma's house was always the hub. Somehow it became the Mecca for all old friends to stop in and to meet. This was the only day of the year that Grandma stayed awake during the day. She would fill her washing machine with ice and sodas. Isn't that genius? She would also go to Honey Baked Ham and have a whole spread of food for all of us scavengers to come and eat.

I take that back: She did not go to Honey Baked Ham. Someone else had to do that for her because in all 90 years of her life Grandma never drove. It was all good though because she was so sweet that no one ever minded.

Grandma's post Homecoming refrigerator note, Tuskegee Homecoming 2010

All of our friends have a Grandma memory and we were all her children. She always kept the light on for us--always. On some of those nights we were talking a lit-tle loud and being a lot silly but Grandma never seemed to mind. I remember coming to her house in the middle of the night with my sorority sisters making quite a ruckus. (I also recall it being the perfect hiding place for us to get away from the big sisters when we were pledging. . . .whew!)

But most of all? Grandma's house was always a safe place to land. And a place where ALL were welcome. That little brick house was a part of the Tuskegee experience for many generations. It truly was.

We all have memories of Grandma's house. And you know what? We always will.



  1. Joining you in celebrating your awesome grandma and her impact on your life. Grandmas are pretty much da' bomb.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma so very sorry. But what a legacy! You all are amazing a long line of strong independent women and this makes me proud to know you even here in the blue world even this little bit. I will light a white candle for your family from my small house in Seattle where the sky is blue for once and the seagulls circle singing their joy and love for humans and even though most humans misinterpret their songs I know they're singing for you and your family and lengthening their wings to escort your Grandma to heaven where their voices become the voices of angels.

  3. love it and love me some grandma - Penny Luva

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Cherish the memories.

  5. What sweet, sweet pictures.

  6. As a grandmother, this means so much more to me than it would have before I became one.
    I think grandmothers are important and obviously, yours was.
    Bless you all, dear Grady Doctor. And I don't even have to say that- you were blessed by this woman and her love for you.

  7. Thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Your grandma sounds like a remarkable woman.

  8. Oh Dearest Grandma how I love you, let me count the ways...Kimberly, my sincere condolences to you, William, JoLai, Mother and Daddy Draper. I am simply without further words as Grandma meant the world to me, she became my mother. She loved me just because and with her whole heart. I thank you for introducing me to her, I thank you for sharing her with me. I thank you...



  9. WOW what an amazing woman
    This is the grandma I hope to be one day
    A life very well lived....<3

  10. What an awesome legacy! It gave me hope that when we've kicked our little birds from the next, we'll go back to our night owl ways and our grand birds will know they can come over and hang with us at 3 a.m.

  11. <3 Such a beautiful tribute.

  12. From the deck of the Poop,

    At the risk of being redundant. Absolutely lovely. And you know I loved myself some "Ernie" as did everyone.



"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails