An A Inside an O


What a feisty, amazing lady you are, Gram.

I can see you, climbing into Pappy’s little

red and white ski boat after getting breakfast

at Black Meadows. You have on your

Bermuda shorts with a matching sleeveless

blouse tied in a knot just above your tanned

flat belly. You laugh as Pappy swats at your

rump to get you in the boat.  So many lake

days with summer heat, cattails, and

spitting watermelon seeds straight

into the shallows, eco footprint be damned.

Your hair is puffy and slate-colored, like the

metallic parts I imagined you working on in

the machine shop when you were younger.

And then there were Christmas mornings

since forever with those biscuits of yours

that you tended carefully after Pappy was

gone. You could make them with your

eyes closed, softly kneading the dough

then baking them in recycled Marie Callender

pie tins.  That was back when they actually

were heavy and made of thick tin. 

I have one still, you know. I was trying to

recreate those biscuits just this last weekend,

and realized that the pan I was using had the

big stamped MC in the center. I flipped it

over and sure enough there was your mark, an

A inside of an O, painted on with one of those

rich rum nail polishes you used to wear.

It startled me at first to see you there, on the

bottom of my biscuit pan, but there you were.

We have watched you struggle

to stay, feisty as ever, these past few months.

Aching for you as we watched your heart

break a little more each day.  All of us so

helpless not knowing how to mend it. I was so

sure that you would finally feel safe enough

to let go, so long as you could remember

that Pappy is right there waiting to help you into

the boat, to swat you on the behind, and

make you laugh, and be yours again.

So I will keep making your biscuits…

but I am still working on them.

I think, more butter is the answer.

More butter for the biscuits,

and more sugar for the jam.

And of course, the right pan.


Safe trip, Gram.

I love you.



About tiffandtheboys

I am a married mom of three boys, still trying to figure out what i want to be when I grow up. However, I can say that any remarkable qualities I may possess are a direct consequence of all the people who have given their love to me over the expanse of my life (which is hurtling toward the deep space of middle age at an alarming rate.). So to all of those people, past and present...thank you for me.
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