I have this great memory of my maternal Grandma. She was born and raised in northern Alabama. When we went "home" for holidays it was usually to Gadsden or Birmingham to see her and the rest of the clan. One Thanksgiving, I think it was, we all drove to someone's house to eat. In the backyard was a trampoline. Well, everyone that could manage it got on the thing and jumped til they wanted to puke. After the initial hoard dispersed and went inside to, no doubt, watch the Iron Bowl (as all good Alabamans do), I lingered outside with the young ones ("youngins") and my 80+ year old Granny-Ma. After a little cajoling she gingerly ascended a ladder to the trampoline and, by golly, she jumped.
Her smile was wonderfully huge and she couldn't stop laughing. She didn't jump high. She didn't jump alone, either. She was surrounded by giggly little second cousins who wanted to see how high she could go. I laughed so hard. The joy and exhilaration on her face was amazing. This was a woman who survived the Depression. She picked cotton in a field as a young woman to take care of her family. For some reason I thought of all of that as I watched her laugh. I also thought, "I hope I have half that much zest for life when I get older. I hope I never grow up. "
Granny-Ma was amazing. She passed away about a year and a half ago from complications of dementia, among other things. I miss her so much. I had said my goodbyes long before her mind left us. The pain washes away and good memories remain.
Remind me later to tell you about the time she fired a tater gun into my uncle's lake when she was in her late 80's.