Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My Granny, whom I wrote about in a previous post, died eleven years ago today. And let me tell you, she died fighting. Cancer did it's dastardly work on her body for a number of years and she fought it tooth & nail with a healthy diet, exercise, and ferocious optimism. And an amazing laugh.
The following is one of the many poems she penned. I'm including the Headnote, because it reveals her resilience and tenacity.
Headnote: Smarting from my husband's remark of "Aren't you going to do the other side?" after I had completed the admittedly impossible task of clearing the tall and partly seeded grassburs from the patch between our mesquites and the oak by the highway. I felt driven to write an angry response to this attitude about women but decided instead to write something that I could use to build me back up after he tore me down.
This should do it.
I can work like a field hand with pitchfork or hoe;
I can mow or edge or prune
And make it more effective
At the right time of the moon.
I can learn from the slowest mental case
Or stimulate the smartest
Or laugh aloud at boredom;
At living, I'm an artist.
I can wage a war with the grassburs
And ignore the ridicule;
I can drip with sweat til it blinds my eyes
Then languish in my pool.
I can make something of nothing
Or make-do when I must;
I can really pinch a penny;
I can survive on dry bread crust.
Or I can delight the hungry crowds
With hearty home cooked dishes
Or play most gracious hostess
And cater to their wishes.
I come by my talents naturally
From the finest of the fine
What a blessed thing to follow
In the line of Caroline.
I can sing and dance and write and sketch
I can play and sometimes win;
I can thrill to the touch of attentive males
Whether stranger, acquaintance, or kin.
I can jog three miles in the heat of the day;
I can ride and swim and dive;
I can swap tall tales and listen well
And charm any man alive.
I can lull a fretting child to sleep
In a matter of minutes or less
Or soothe a frightened, snarling beast
Or make a thief confess.
I can talk to crowds, control their thoughts,
Awake their admiration,
Or humbly bow before my God
In prayerful meditiation,
Or talk with Him, solicit help
And feel the exultation
Of surging power that accompanies truth
And dissipates depression.
I'm wonderful when I'm with God;
When I am One with Him,
I'm capable of anything:
Dear God, help me be slim.
- Gladys James
Missing you, Granny!