A Grandmother Is Someone with Silver Hair and Gold in Her Heart

Written by: Doménica Albarracín


         “When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window”. – Ogden Nash. When I was child, my family and I used to live in my grandparents’ house. We lived with them because in that time my parents didn’t have enough money to build our own house. There I lived the best moments of my life. Moments that I’ll never forget. What I remember the most is that when I was at the age of five and I accidentally damaged our washing machine. I don’t know what happened or what I did. I was just a child. My parents were going to hit me, but then my heroine (My Grannie) defended me. Although my parents said to her that I was very naughty and stubborn, she was by my side, saving me from the beating. My parents disagreed with her. They told me that if they don’t hit me for my good, I’ll never learn. In contrast, my Grannie said «Doménica is very smart, I know that she’s not going to do it anymore». I was so happy when my Grannie said that. Consequently, she took care of me better than anyone else could ever do. I think that grannies are the best people for bringing up children. But anyway, to cut a long story short, when this happened I remember saying to myself “Nothing can harm us while we have each other”. I was a little bit crazy because I always used to dream with my eyes wide open. There was no dream where my granny wasn’t in. I used to dream that she and I were the queens of a fantastic world in which no one could separate us. Conversely, in every happy story must be at least one villain. In my case, I had two: My mom and my dad. We used to fight against them with our superpowers, sending them to another planet far away from us. To sum up, I could say that what a child needs the most is a grannie. Because grandmothers are people we can trust on our most intimate secrets without fear that they are going to say something to our parents. I’m very thankful to God for having my Grannie with me. I can’t imagine my life without this amazing woman. Some girls my age make me want to hug my grannie and thank her for the way she raised me. “Grandparents are the greatest treasure of the family, the founders of a legacy of love, the best storytellers, and the guardians of traditions that linger in my memory. Grandparents are the solid foundation of the family, very special love the difference.”- http://grisdeluna.com/2012/09/26/frases-para-los-abuelos/.  Although in this world there are a lot of grandmas that I can compare with my Grannie, I choose Grandmeré. Grandmeré is such a nice grandma. She’s Mardi’s grandmother in the book “Fresh Girl”. I chose her because I love the way she behaves and loves Mardi. Sometimes Mardi doesn’t understand her grandma’s behavior and neither do I. That’s why I decided to write about them because I think that we granddaughter need to understand them much better than we do now. However, Grandmeré and “Mechita” (It’s like I tell my loving grandmother Mercedes) are similar when you’re not hungry and they give you food anyway, even though if it’s their food, when you ask your parents for permission to go somewhere, and also their houses are the most comfortable and charming.

“Grandmothers, as heroines are so necessary for children, such as vitamins.”- Joyce Allston. I always know how important my Mechita is for me because of her food. When I go to her house she is always with food even if the whole family comes (we’re a very big family for being clear). I don’t know how she does because in her house people just keep coming and coming. Maybe her pots are bottomless pots. Grannies just cook better than any chef can ever do. As a result, I could say that everybody loves their grandmas’ cooking, but I think that we all know that it’s the grandmas’ superpower. Although sometimes I tell my Grannie that I´m not hungry, she gives food anyway. I remember that in my last birthday I invited my grandparents to my house to celebrate with me. Although I was satisfied with all the food that I’ve eaten, my Grannie said “that’s not enough, you should eat more” I didn’t want to, but my parents made me eat because my grandma would “suffer” contempt for her food. My Grannie convinced me, so I finished eating the fritters that she always make me. All grannies think that their grandchildren are too skinny and that they must eat a lot, if they want to stand firm on the floor, even though that’s not true because we all know that they exaggerate when it comes to their food. There are sometimes when I come to my grandma’s house very late and there’s no food for me, consequently, she gives me her food. She thinks that if I don’t eat very well one day, I’ll have fainted somewhere and she will lost me “forever”. Similarly, Grandmeré is with Mardi because when Mardi arrived in Haiti the first thing that Grandmeré asked her was if she was hungry. Despite Mardi said to her that she wasn’t hungry, Grandmeré gave her a banana anyway. Grandmeré loves taking care of her grandchildren because they are part of her family. Therefore, another thing that Grandmeré did for Mardi was when she didn’t want to eat. Because Mardi preferred a bottle of West Indian fruit soda, unless she’s eating codfish in onions, boiled green plantains, and rice with red kidney beans. Mardi’s mom asked her to put the soda back. As a result, Grandmeré pointed to a half-full glass on the table saying “you can take mine, Mardi”. That’s what I mean when I say that grannies are much known for always having our stomachs full. Grandmas are always going to give up on what they want or have because they want their grandchildren to have everything. Conversely, in the case of our stomachs, grandmas don´t care if we are full or not. In short, I would say that our grannies’ solution is always food, even if we are angry, sad, tired or happy. Food, food, and more food. It’s the grannies’ world. As the saying goes “Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies.” I will always think that this is a proof of how immensely our grandmothers love us.

“Grandmothers are miracles of the love and the life”- http://grisdeluna.com/2012/09/26/frases-para-los-abuelos/ . I always wonder why my Grannie is always worrying about me. Although she knows that I’m sixteen and that I’m not a little girl, she’s still taking care of me. She protects me like I was a bad girl or something like that, even though she knows that I’ve never disappointed her. Every Saturday that I go to catechism and my Grannie tells me “Doménica be careful”, “you’re not going there to look for a boyfriend”, “and the priest is my friend. If you do something wrong he’ll tell me”, even though the church is one block away from her house and three blocks away from my house. But this is not the worst thing of all. One day I decided to stay playing soccer with my friends, instead of I’m going home. The catechism ends at five. I was at home at 6 o’clock. My parents called my Grannie because they thought that I was with her. My Grannie was mad at me because that day she told me to go home early. I remember her saying to me before going to catechism “I remember having a friend who after class didn’t use to go home” “Ooooh! She was robbed kidnapped, but that not the worst thing. Her body was transformed into a frog. My friends’ parents didn’t want her anymore. She was abandoned in the forest with rats around her. She was always afraid of them, so Doménica don’t do that!”- My Grannie said. Likewise, Grandmeré is with Mardi because when Mardi asked her parents for permission to go to a sleepover at Jilline’s house. Although everybody knew that Jilline lived few blocks away from Mardi’s house, they didn’t let her. Mardi is fifteen and she’s not a child either. However, what Grandmeré said to Mardi was: “Aaaaah! Children don’t know when someone is putting poison in their ice cream”. Mardi just stayed quiet, but then Grandmeré started telling Mardi “I know what I talk about. When I was a young girl about your age in Jacmel, my best friend, Marie-Anne, died because she took a stranger’s hand and went off into the woods. We found her body two days later by the river over in a nearby town under a mapou tree”. To sum up, we all grandchildren know when our grandmas are telling us a lie. Maybe they might think that we were so naive that we believed their cock-and-bull story, but that’s not true because we all know that grandmas are overprotective. Therefore, I dare say that grandmas love their grandchildren more than their sons because of the way that they protect us. Although sometimes they are unbearable for the way in which they protect us, we know how much they adore us. Maybe Mardi one day will understand why Grandmeré does it, but in my case I’ve always understood. Perhaps sometimes I just forgot to tell my Grannie where am I, but she knows that she can always trust on me. All grandchildren should be grateful for the love grandmothers have with us. Although sometimes they exaggerate and say nonsense things, we must understand them because they do it for nothing more and nothing less than our good. My grandma is overprotective and all, but I still love my nanny. Mardi not far behind from me because I know that someday she’ll thank Grandmeré for the way she raised her.

Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences of life are to be granddaughter or grandmother.-Donald A. Norberg. When I was child, I used to spend all my day at my Grannie’s house. The most comfortable place in the world, I dare say. There are many reasons why I love my Grannie’s house, but I think that’s better if I tell you why I love her house. Mechita’s house has three balconies full of plants. She has two dogs. She used to have a parakeet and a lot of birds. I used to sing to them when I would climb the trees in my Grannie’s house. Unfortunately, one day, the police came to her house and told her that she can’t have animals held in captivity. It was the saddest day of my life. I loved her birds and her parakeet. They were like my friends. Now I only remember them because of my memory. I enjoyed their company more than anything else. However, I also love my Grannie’s house because it was never crowded, even though I used to live with all my relatives there. My Grannie’s house was built by my grandpa. He did his best when he built the house. He knew that his grandchildren wanted something that they could use or feel comfortable with. When I enter to my Grannie’s house I love smelling the old mud and brick that was used to build the house because I have the feeling that I’m closer to distant generations that preceded us immediately. Her house is very big and pleasant. I lived with all my family there. Although my Granny’s house it’s very old, it always seems that is not as old as we might see because of the atmosphere that it gives you. I have no words to describe how comforting is my Grannie’s house. If I say that it’s such a heartwarming house, it’ll be too short. Likewise, it’s Grandmeré’s house because of the way that Mardi describes it. What she says about Grandmeré’s house is that when she first got there, she didn’t like it because she thought that she wouldn’t see her parents again, but she got used to Grandmeré’s house. “Grandmeré’s house had three floors balconies full of plants. She had dogs and cats and a parakeet in her backyard. My grandfather had built the house before my father was born, but it always smelled like it had just been built. Back then the house were mostly made of wood, but my grandfather knew he wanted to build something his grandchildren could use.” That’s what Mardi remember of Grandmeré’s house in Haiti, but she also remembers that she lived with cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends who became family, but the house was never crowded. There was always space for everybody who wanted to come to Grandmeré’s house. To sum up, I could say that grandmas’ houses are always the most comfortable, even though sometimes they’re not big, but there’s always space for everybody who wants to come. Whenever you’re sad or disappointed with life, your grandma’s house it’s the best place for relaxing. Grandmas always know what you want from them because they built their house to make their grandchildren comfortable and the love that they give you it’s the only thing you need in life. Sometimes people think that this is normal that grandmas have their house big because of the tradition. Let me tell you that this is not true because they see her grandchildren like a new opportunity to be better moms. What I can’t deny is that I feel more comfortable and loved in my Grannie’s house than in my own house. Maybe it’s for the charming energy that my Grannie’s has in her house, but I just wanted to say that for me my Grannie’s house it’s the best and either does Mardi.

In short, grandmothers are wonderful mothers with lots of practice because they bring us up better than they did with our parents. I know that sometimes they’re kind of annoying people for the way they insist to eat a lot of food at their house, but it’s because they love us more than life itself. They don’t do things just for bothering us. They do everything for our good. Grandmothers are a safe haven because when you think that you are alone and that there’s nobody that you can count on, there are they. Maybe we might think that they’re too old for understanding us, but the truth is that they know more than we do. Perhaps it’s not only their food or cookies what makes us happy, but I could say that their love makes us the happiest people in the world. Wherever we go to, they’ll be always jealous and worried about us because we are their most valuable treasure in their life and they don’t want anything to happen to us. They can be overprotective, but who wouldn’t be if you love a person so much? If we don’t value or appreciate our grandmas, we have to stop and think that they are not going to last forever. Everything ends in this life and we’ll regret not having loved our grandmothers as we were supposed to do. Sometimes I forget that my Grannie won’t be by my side all the time and I don’t give her the love that she deserves, but I dare say that even when I forget about her, she’s always thinking about me. I don’t know if I’m the perfect granddaughter in the whole world, but for me she’s the best grannie in the universe. She’s mine and she is also the love of my life because of the way she raised me. Moreover, I would say that all grandmothers are the same because I haven’t known any grandmas who don’t worry about their grandchildren. In addition, I could say that they also don’t like raising lazy grandchildren. It’s like when Mardi got 100 in her English test and she decided to tell her mother and grandma to be proud of her and that was when Grandmeré said to Mardi’s mom: “I don’t raise lazy grandchildren”. It’s was really nice of Grandmeré to make sure that Mardi take her schoolwork seriously when her parents weren’t with Mardi. I believe that all Grandmas will be always our heroines even when we are in our darkest moments. I’ll always think that they are angels that fell from heaven. I can’t imagine my life without my grandma because she’s the person whom I get up every day. My Grannie is my sunshine and I’m her flower, so a flower can´t grow without sunshine. I think that Mardi will think the same way as I do because some of the best educators in the world are grandparents and I think that she knows it, but she doesn’t want to show it. Everyone should have someone to take care of us, and the best person to do it is our grandma because for our grandmas we will always be the most beautiful person in the world even when everybody thinks that we’re the ugliest people in all the universe. If you take a look at her naughty look and her sparkling smile, you’ll understand why I love her so much.2014-02-01 21.01.582014-02-01 20.52.38