Time. It’s something we don’t have. We do, but then again we don’t. It ticks away as we work, and ticks away as we sit on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

The white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland comes to mind. He was always running around declaring how late he was for his very important date, in a frenzy with his pocket watch in hand. If my aunt had a character, he would be it. 

But it’s how I always feel - moving faster to make it here or there on time, or hurrying up at the grocery store so dinner can be ready on time. I’m Hispanic, we’re always late for everything anyway, but lately, I’ve felt the rush of life all at once. 

I sat one day this week and thought of how fast it felt that one day I was 10 and then woke up yesterday and found myself 32 with arthritis. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Time continues to tick, and then before you know it, your “time” has come and although you’ll be long gone, time will continue to tick. Ticking on into eternity, time marches on. We spend too much time here or not enough time there. Grey hairs begin to take place of once lustrous locks of ebony hair. You can’t do the fun things you used to. It seems sad to see someone grow old, but it’s a blessing. 

My granny has been in not-so-good health for a while now. She has made it this far at the golden age of 71. We know that one day, we’ll have to be okay with Jesus taking her home. She has been a blessing to me and I am thankful that God chose her to be my granny. I was born on her birthday, and for the last 32 years, I have shared that special day with her every time full of food, cake, and surprised faces. We’ve never missed a birthday together. 

I fear for the day that I can’t have her right beside me laughing and blowing out birthday candles and pose for a photo. I fear for the day that I can’t pick up the phone and ask her what she had for dinner, or ask her how to cook something. I fear for the day that I can’t hug her neck and tell her I love her. 

But in all of this time, she has been and still is a very big blessing to me. She has taught me so many things in 32 years. Because of her I could plant my garden and know how to take care of it. Because of her, I know how to make homemade buttermilk biscuits. Because of her, I love freshly bleached cotton sheets on a summer night with the window open and crickets chirping into the darkness. Because of her, I always have to have a gallon of sweet tea in the fridge. Because of her, I know how to make my favorite peach cobbler, my very favorite coconut cream pie, and chicken spaghetti. Because of her, I love to sketch. I can smell those old broken crayons in the cigar box she had for us when we were kids. She’s also the reason why I like pimento cheese sandwiches, homemade dill pickles, and strawberry syrup on pancakes.

She worked everyday until her retirement last year.  She and my grandfather cleaned a washateria for over 20 years, and when he passed away she continued to clean it. We kids use to fight over who was getting up early and going to the “laundry” as we called it because it usually meant a quick trip to the Piggly Wiggly, a soda, and more than likely some sort of candy or donuts. It wasn’t much, but to me, it felt like a lot. She cleaned the house, tended the garden, cooked every meal. And makes the best biscuits and homemade gravy you’d ever sink your teeth into. We didn’t come from a wealthy background but we were rich in the things that matter the most. 

I treasure and will continue to treasure every single moment with that strong woman. A woman who never judges me and loves me unconditionally. A woman that has supported me in all of the ups and downs of my life. A woman that knows who Jesus is, and knows that angel wings and a bright white robe will be waiting for her when the time comes.

As I am writing, I can see the little 1920s house with the sun going down behind the pasture and hear the country music station playing in the background on a Friday night, and smell her homemade hamburgers cooking on the stove. 

I know I have rambled on a bit too much, but my point to all of this is that we should cherish our grandparents. They are the jewels of our families. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s the brats of today that can’t be bothered to talk to their grandparents or how disrespectful they can be. Kids today don’t know what it means to hear a belt sound like a whip coming 90 miles per hour from some belt loops, and it shows. 

I am blessed because I was able to grow up with a grandma who was not selfish and didn’t care a sack of horse manure what anyone thought of her. And she will surely tell you how the cow ate the cabbage. 

I am blessed because God has given me so very many years with her. Time continues to tick. Hug your grandparents and remind them how much you love them. You won’t always have them. Learn from them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Call them. My granny is the best and always will be. 

To my sweet granny, Maudie, thank you for showing me love and compassion. You are loved beyond infinite measure. 

Ben Marmolejo-Najera is the graphic designer for The Henderson News. His email is © 2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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