You poor thing. It was
her friends way of extending sympathy toward her because she was baby
sitting with her grandchildren.
Don't feel sorry for me!
Dee was quick to express herself. I'm doing exactly what I want to do.
After Glenda left her
grandson was wrapping himself around her as he sometimes did when it was
later in the afternoon and he was tired from the days activities. Gramma
why did Glenda call you a poor thing.
Oh, don't pay any
attention. Doesn't mean anything.
This innocent question gave
Dee a moment to reflect as she was holding her grandson. He was getting to
be a big boy and she sang to him as she had sung to her own boy, his
Puff the magic dragon,
lives by the sea, in a land called Ah Dah Lee. A dragon lives forever,
but not so little boys.
The song always touched her
heart as she remembered her five, no six, brothers and one brother
cousin. It always seemed to her they were just little boys for such a
short time and all at once they had to grow up to all the hateful and, of
course, pleasurable things as to and of being a man.
Yeah, but why did she?
Are you poor?
Randy, language isn't that
simple. Poor can mean a lot of different things. Poor work, poor
timing, poor tasting food, dirt poor, and poor but proud are just a few
But, why did she call you,
poor thing. Randy was persistent.
It was their way, their
culture, whatever one wanted to call it, to go ahead and explain to
children, even though they might only get part of the understanding of
something told to them.
Long ago. Dee was making
a story out of the explanation. Long ago, there was what they called
Indians. That is what Gramma's mother is called.
I know! Gramma V. is
Indian. Everybody knows that.
Dee had to smile. Oh
yes! She was thinking to herself.
Well, years ago, those
people lived differently than we do, in a way, but in another way just
like we do. The man hunted and fished and fought the enemies. The woman
stayed around the camp, worked hard to make clothes, grow and store food,
tan animal hides and so many things you will probably not even hear
Since Mama and Daddy had
to work so hard, someone had to help with the children. The children had
to grow up fast in order to be strong. The Grandmother's and Grandfather's
were strong. They were healthy people. With this strength they were able
to help care for the children. But, it wasn't just because they needed to
do so, it was more than that. It was kind of like a rule. You know a
Uh huh! That is like when
we aren't supposed to call names.
Dee had to smile again to
herself and was glad the boy was remembering the incident and talk they
had about that.
Yes, Randy. Like that. So
you see, even though Grampa isn't Indian, he is respectful to me. He
doesn't complain about kids being around. Instead, he helps me with you
children. You know that don't you?
I love Grampa. Randy was
listening and being thoughtful.
I do too. Dee told her
Grandson. I've loved him for almost fifty years now. What do you think
Is that more than a
hundred? Randy in his own way made her aware he was so very much a
Let's just say it is quite
a long time.
Randy was quiet. Whether he
was thinking or was just too tired to visit she didn't know. They were
sitting so they could see down the drive. Dee knew the children seemed to
have a built in sense as to their mother's arrival and liked to watch for
her. As her car came up the drive Randy was all at once very alert and
ready to get to his feet. His Grampa had been holding his sister, Ada.
Ada! Ada! Hurry! Let's
get our stuff. Mama's here!
As the children's mother
came into the house she was hugging and loving on the children but Dee
could see her daughter-in-law was very tired and that touched her heart
too. The only joy Dee had at the moment was knowing they had provided one
small relief for the woman in that she knew her children were secure with
their love while she struggled to get through life the best way she knew
how and that was by helping their son arrive at his goals. It was as one
country song proclaimed, The secret to a successful rancher is a wife
who works in town!
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