Oneta 84

(A copy and paste from four years ago – instead of eighty-one, I’m now eighty-five and Alayna is twenty-six.)

The browning album crackled from the weight of the fading pictures as my grandchildren turned the page of the wonderland that used to be.  Alayna said to Pete, “That used to be Grandma.”

“No, Alayna, you’re wrong,” I thought. “That girl was never me.  I wore her clothes and combed her hair, but she never cuddled my babies, pursued a career, or licked the seal of an envelope containing a final payment. She never climbed my mountains, nor stumbled in my valleys.  She had never faced my temptations, nor experienced my victories.  That girl was never grandma, but I was once that girl.”

Remembering the incident leaves me thinking about why I blog.  One of the reasons I want to become a blogger is because of the opportunity I have to get acquainted with young people.  (And at my age, even sixty is young people!)  I was raised at a time and in a community where there was almost no “generational” divide.  The generations did things together: family reunions, singing rallies, church dinners, baseball, ice skating.  Schools often had several ages and grades in the same room.  We even went places in the same car!  I miss that.  I love young people.  I have walked in their shoes.  I believe I have experiences which would interest them, and I know they have experiences I would like to know about.  Most honestly I can see and hear things so I know some things but I don’t understand the reasons why.  Maybe I can find out some whys by reading blogs.

A recent story.  I was talking to a little girl who I believe had taken a stick of gum and lied about it, but she denied it vehemently.  I told her of my experience when I was about her age.  I had taken a stick of gum out of my aunt’s sewing machine drawer.  As far as I know no one ever knew it, but it made me feel so guilty that I still remember it.  She still didn’t confess and maybe she didn’t take the gum.  But if she did I wanted her to understand I had been where she was.

Embarrassed?  I’ve been there.  Feel ugly?  I’ve been there.  Frantic with sorrow?  Up all night with sick babies?  Worried?  Tight budget?  Dejected in love?  Loved and been loved?  Scared to speak in public?  Need tires but no money?  I’ve been there.

Back to the photograph.  I was that girl.  I experienced what that girl experienced.  But I knew nothing of the things to come that would make me “me.”  Salty tears and delicious laughter, the birth of my child and the death of my mother, the dirge of night and the delight of dawn, the pain of aging and the hope of the eternal. Yes, I was that little girl, but she was never me. And, my precious Alayna, I once walked in the shoes of a twenty-two year old, facing decisions that would determine the actions that would make me an eighty-one year old “me,” with a beautiful, delightful, intelligent, and loving grand-daughter whom I love very much, who someday will be her own “me”.  May you be blessed, my darling, now and forever.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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11 Responses to THE MAKING OF “me”

  1. Salvageable says:

    Yes, we change every day–on the molecular level and on the cellular level as well as through new experiences, new challenges, and new opportunities. Yet there is a continuity that keeps each of us the same individual through all those changes. We are like the ax described by a famous philosopher: it’s been in the family for generations–the blade has been replaced three times and the handle twice, but aside from that it’s still the same ax. J.

  2. Alexis Rose says:

    I love this, Oneta.

  3. You are the best discovery I’ve made in a long time. I look forward to sitting down to read your tales. I’ve just put some of mine in a book called “Just Because I Used to Could” and let me tell you, writing them was a breeze compared to all the editing and planning and business side of that self publishing process. Just from the little I’ve read of your words, I bet you’ve often heard, Oneta, you should write a book. Maybe so. Who knows. Or perhaps your blog will carry those words far and wide. Isn’t it fun when someone reads and enjoys your tales and thoughts? I’m almost sixty and my blog is one of my happy places as it appears yours is. I’m rambling on. Just thought I’d tell you hello and I plan to have coffee and read some of your stories as soon as I get my to do list done. It’ll be a treat. Lisa

  4. pranabaxom says:

    “One of the reasons I want to become a blogger is because of the opportunity I have to get acquainted with young people.” – well said.
    Enjoyed reading.
    Yes, we were that but we are not that.

  5. Faye says:

    Beautifully expressed. Thank you. One of the reasons I started blogging was the same. I honestly believe that ‘connecting’ as we do expands our own lives and can bring different experiences of life and living to others. Such has been my journey with your. Your view of life and how you have lived is both challenging and inspirational. Keep blogging as you are able. It is valued!!!

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