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Color: Granny Smith Apple
May 11, 1996
Song: "Grandma's Hands" Bill Withers (The live version at Carnegie Hall)

So They Know Their Great Grand Mother
For Timerra Monet Vest and Cordasia Tishante Henderson...and ALL the great, grand children of Thelma Lee Vest, my Grandmother, the woman I called "Honey".

I can only tell you what I know.
I know 22 years worth.
Actually 21 years worth
because in the last year
there were 3000 miles between us.

I’m thinking of my Honey
and the sweetness of her
and how bitter she could be…
lingering on the lips of the other.

She taught me how to be a woman.
How to love the woman in me.

Grandma’s are suppose to tell you you’re cute…pretty. Grandma’s are always suppose to support you…
back you up.
Grandma’s are always suppose to give you money…
cuz you know they got it.
They always got it.

Grandma’s are suppose to read signs
when you drive in your car...
and in your car,
grandma’s will read all the signs.
“What’s that red light for?”
“Umph, you going kinda fast, ain’t cha?”
“Gas getting kinda low.”
Grandma ain’t never had a driver’s license,
but just because she cares she ask,
“You alright?”,
when you’ve been driving for fifteen hours.

Grandma suppose to be a pack rat.
Give you something to play with.
Grandma suppose to bring you Sunny Delight…
‘cuz she knows its your favorite.
Snow day morning
Grandma suppose to cook
Sausage patties
Fried apples
Homemade biscuits
‘cuz she knows its your favorite...too.

Grandma suppose to be too young
to be a grandma.
Grandma suppose to be too young
to be a great grandma.
But she is.
Grandma is suppose to be your pillar of strength
even when she is not around.
But she is.
She always will be.
That’s her job.
That’s what grandma’s are suppose to do.

She ain’t suppose to take your mama side
when mama is beating your ass.
She ain’t suppose to get mad at you
for not feeding the dog.
She suppose to have a driver’s license
because you get tired of drivin’ her to work
at 6AM
and everywhere else.

And Grandma Why?
Why do you sleep with that flashlight under your pillow?
I always thought those were your teeth.
Is that a mole on your back?
Why I’ve got to pluck the hair off your chin?
Why I’ve got to help you take off your boots?
Why I’ve got to wash your back in the tub?
Why I’ve got to make her El Paso tacos?
Why I’ve got to remember to keep the facet dripping
in the far away bathroom
when the winter is too cold for water?
Why I’ve got to put kerosene in the heater?
Why I’ve got to shovel the snow when it’s piled up?

My reward…
I use to sneak in your bedroom
not to touch anything
but just to be in there.
I know that under your bed
you kept old photos
in a brown cardboard box…
family photos.
Other kids would sneak under their parents’ bed
to look at dirty pictures and magazines.
I’d sneak peeks at my family…
at a younger you.
At a gorgeous you.
You were incredible.
You still are.
The girls just wanted to know…

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