Sometimes as I passed Granddaddy on my way upstairs, I would observe Granddaddy praying. I can still see him now, his tall, large frame and brown bald head leaning, with his elbow resting on the buffet in the dining room. I could never understand what he was saying because it all sounded like a loud whisper, a "sip, sip, sip" sound. But he always looked like he was in a serious and fervent morning prayer. During my childhood, I did not appreciate Granddaddy’s prayers because he was interfering with my last winks of sleep before getting up for school. But now that I’m a grown woman, I can appreciate this memory of my grandfather praying. I often wonder what he was praying—perhaps he was praying that God would bless his family. Perhaps he was praying for his grandchildren—that God would bless them to get an education and to go further in school than he had. Perhaps he was praying that God would get bless them to get jobs where they did not have to do hard physical labor like he had done.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Granddaddy’s Morning Rituals
My maternal grandfather believed in punctuality and rising early everyday. Even after his retirement in 1975, he continued to rise early around 5 a.m. daily. When I was a teenager, I started sleeping in the den downstairs because I was tired of sharing a room with my three sisters. Around 5 a.m. every morning, Granddaddy would come downstairs. It was the same ritual every morning: the sound of a coffee pot whistling, the smell of strong Maxwell House coffee, hearing him talk to himself and praying, and his loud irritating slurping sounds. He liked to place his coffee cup on a saucer. He would pour the coffee until it spilled from the cup into the saucer and sip it making a loud slurping sound. All of this noise disturbed my last winks of sleep before getting up for school and I would usually go upstairs angered at al the commotion.