At my grandparents’ home, weekends were our shopping days at Pantry Pride. Grandma pulled her two-wheel cart behind her, and Grandpa and I carried the rest of the groceries, chitchatting along the way.
“You know, young lady,” Grandpa said, “You’re going to have long legs when you grow up.”
“Are they going to be long as yours, Grandpa?” I asked, trying to keep in stride.
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Will they be long as Grandma’s?”
“Well, I’ll say there’s a good chance.”
“What about Mama’s?”
“Yep. I think they’re going to be longer than your mother’s are.”
“Then I’ll be taller than her.” I skipped along thinking about it.
“Yes, yes, I think you’re right,” Grandpa chuckled.
We couldn’t walk at a fast pace on account of Grandma’s bad feet.
But one morning we left for church later than usual. Grandma insisted that Grandpa and I run on ahead to stop the bus when we saw one. We took a shortcut along the sides of the railroad tracks. Trotting over the loose gravel became tricky, but we hurried on determined to catch that bus.
“Papa,” cried a small voice. We didn’t hear that first call. The cry came again, followed by a moan. When we turned, we never imagined seeing Grandma laying facedown over pebbles and rocks. Grandpa moved with surprising agility and helped her sit up.
Grandma’s forehead bled from the fall. I cowered at the sight of so much blood. I felt sorry for her and helpless. Why couldn’t I have stayed close and given her my arm to hold onto?
Together, we walked back to the house. When we got there, Grandma limped into the bathroom and Grandpa helped her clean her face with a washcloth. To our surprise, she then insisted that we go back out.
“We are goin’ to church even if we are late,” she said.
“Aren’t you going to at least change your blouse?” Grandpa asked.
“¡No señor!” Grandma said with finality. “I’m goin’ just as I am.”
(Excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace )
© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved