Alma Rose was my father's mother. My grandmother. She had fourteen children on a Piney Woods cotton farm. She passed away from complications of diabetes when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I remember going once with Daddy to see her in a nursing home when she was nearing the end. I can't clearly recall her funeral.
But! I remember vividly getting out of the car at her little house in Livingston and being met by her coming towards me fast as she could with arms outstretched to wrap me in a huge hug. I can't clearly picture her face. Just a smile and grey hair. But I can see the short sleeve shirtwaist dress with the flowered apron over her large bosom. And I know it meant feeling loved and special.
From those trips I also recall the smell and taste of chocolate pie served while it was still slightly warm. My favorite places at her house was her front porch swing, her flowerbed full of roses, and her catfish pond. Huge gold fish in a cement pond with green leaves growing beside it and hanging over into it. And a little statue of a black boy beside it. I was always intrigued by him, watching over those goldfish and part of me felt sad he had to stay there all alone.
Once, when a large number of us were at grandma's for some holiday gathering, me and too many of my cousins all got in the porch swing together and kept pushing and pushing till it went higher and higher and finally flipped over and split us out in her rose garden. It wasn't pleasant and it was the only time I ever remember being in trouble at grandma's house.
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