Because the last post I wrote in my blog served not only to update my friends and business associates of where I'd disappeared to for such a long stretch of time, but also as a sort of gate-keeper, I haven't been able to move forward. Every time I come here, thinking perhaps it's time to start blogging again, I see the post and the precious photo of my Granddaddy and I can't help myself. I always pause to read it. I've been going about my business, trying to regain my focus and move forward with all this stunted work, and admittedly stumbling over distractions I allow to get in my way, and blogging hasn't been as high a priority as it has in years past. Tonight it happened again. And just like before, I paused and looked at his photo I love, then read on. Tears in my eyes, I consider moving on to something else, but I think perhaps no. Granddady was never a quitter and he'd say, "Now baby, just go ahead and do it! Ain't nothing else for you to do? Am I right?" Yes, Granddaddy. You're right.
But, I tell him in this conversation I've fabricated for myself tonight, there's not a lot that's interesting enough to write about in a blog just now. Nothing interesting that isn't too personal for a public blog, anyway. And in my mind he argues with me in his smiling, subtle way. Because his children - his "babies" as he often referred to the children we once were and later the adults we became, were always interesting and fine and enthralling and just the way they were supposed to be. Even when everybody knows we weren't. Unless maybe we were talking too much. Then that could also spark a different kind of tone!
There's a sort of sparkle that would play in his eyes as he sat and listened to me go on and on, and if he was really interested in what I had to say, he would ask questions. A lot of them! And if I'd lost him? Well then, he'd look around until he caught somebody else's eye and say, "Do you know what she's talking about?!?" And when the answer was no - the answer had to be no in these particular chats - he would say, "Good. 'Cause I was gettin worried!" If nobody else was around, once you'd gone past the point of no return he'd reach over, pick up his half empty coffee cup (but it's half empty because my Granddaddy was not about to drink a sip of coffee if it wasn't piping hot, not because he has plenty left to drink,) hold it up and say, "Did you say you were makin more coffee???"
While I was in Alabama for our final visit, while he slept, I finally took the time to pull out the audio recordings of some of the conversations we had when we drove to Greenville SC together in May. I edited most of them enough that you could actually hear the words spoken, and a few times I clipped out a little segment that could stand alone. This one makes me smile no matter how many times I hear it. For the record, "Miss Gladys" was my Bigmama, and the love of his life. He'd been missing her for a lot of years. Not anymore, though...
Things got a little too busy to be worried about audio editing and so I didn't finish the work. Aside from that, I think my family would probably appreciate hearing some of these chats before I go putting them up on the internet. But maybe just one little one. Because another thing about my family, which we all learned from my Granddaddy, is that if you want to do something and it's not going to hurt anybody else, and it's not morally or ethically wrong, and it's not going to hurt you either... well, maybe you should just go ahead and do it if you want to!
Tonight I really want to hear my Granddaddy's voice. And I want you to hear it too. Because if you didn't get to meet him, I kinda' think you would have liked him. And if you did meet him, I know you liked him! You probably even fell in love with him. Because that's what people did with my Granddaddy.
One more thing. The little southern accent you hear sneaking through in my voice on the recording? Can't help it. Any time I spent more than 2 days in Alabama, or even in the company of this Very Fine Man, this thing happened to me. My voice slowed down, my syllables tended to breed, and there was always an added layer of happy. You can hear it here, too, can't you? That layer of happy?
There was a lot of happy on this particular day. Enjoy a wee snippet with me?