They ate fried chicken and potatoes, and afterward they did dishes. He went to Wednesday night church. He sat in a pew. He sang. It meant a lot to Granny.

Granny had family supper in her dining room last week. It was her first family supper in two decades.

She has a small family. Her nine-year-old granddaughter sat beside her. Her forty-three-year-old son sat across.

Hers is an old trailer. A double-wide. Linoleum floors, shallow ceilings. She bought it with her husband before he died. She’s been poor her whole life.

This is the nicest home she’s ever had.

So supper. Her son wore a necktie and dress shirt. The little girl: long braids and a dress.

Granny said a prayer. She thanked God for second chances, little girls, and sons.

“My son’s an addict,” Granny tells me. “In and out of rehab. Learned a long time ago, an addict only thinks about themselves, it’s how they are.”

Her son’s little girl was born in a bad neighborhood—the kind where questionable transactions take place on the front porches.

The day his girlfriend announced she was pregnant, Granny redecorated the spare bedroom in her own home. She fixed the room just like on HGTV. Pink drapes, frilly pillows.

One Sunday, when the baby was only a few months old, Granny parked herself on her son’s doorstep. The intoxicated girlfriend told her to get lost.

Granny would not.

“I’s gonna take my grandbaby to church,” she told me. “Wasn’t leaving without her.”

The girlfriend lost it. She cussed, threw things.

Granny demanded the baby. Girlfriend refused. Granny called the law; a mess followed.

Police handcuffed her son and his girlfriend. He screamed at his mother. He told her he hated her.

Granny said, “’Course it hurt, but I just thought: ‘Fine, he’s just gonna have to hate me. ‘Cause I’m worried about this little girl.’”

Her son spent time in jail, and rehab. His girlfriend, too.

But that was a long time ago. Not worth remembering.

Today, Granny thinks about other things. Namely: supper.

She’s been planning her son’s visit for months. She cried when she held him. He cradled his child for the first time in years. He kissed his mama.

He apologized.

They ate fried chicken and potatoes, and afterward they did dishes. He went to Wednesday night church. He sat in a pew. He sang. It meant a lot to Granny.

He has a job laying electrical wire. He’s doing okay for himself. He’s leaving town in a few days, and won’t be back for months.

“But he’s clean,” Granny said. “And it ain’t no accident. He’s done a lotta work, and I done a lotta praying.”

There’s no doubt.

Every Saturday, Granny and the girl set up a tent at the farmer’s market. They sit in folding chairs, selling homemade cookies.

The girl wears oversized sunglasses and eats Skittles. They meet interesting people. Sometimes, they even meet redheaded writers who ask too many personal questions.

“The paperwork went through last week,” said Granny. “My granddaughter is officially my daughter as of last Monday.”

Granny rubs the girl’s head.

“I’d die for this child, make sure you put that in your story.”

Yes, ma’am.

I’ll be certain to do that.

15 comments

  1. Lynda Gayle Knight - May 19, 2017 1:17 pm

    Every time I think your message couldn’t get better, it does! Oh, the love and prayers of a Christian grandmother! Only a grandmother knows because of experience!

    Reply
  2. Debbie Beach - May 19, 2017 1:20 pm

    My heart cries for any child who has missed out on the love and joy of a doting grandparent. So many grannies have raised or partially raised a grandchild. My mother did that for me as I worked nights. She’s been gone since March 22, 2011. She left behind a trail of broken hearts but a lifetime of loving memories that we all will eagerly hold dear until our reunion in old Glory with our Heavenly Father and Jesus.
    Thank you for another treasured account of another life.

    Reply
  3. paula jones - May 19, 2017 1:31 pm

    I want to comment on every article you write, but I would end up being redundant. Just assume I love your work. It helps renew my faith in humanity.

    Reply
  4. TonD - May 19, 2017 2:18 pm

    My heart. What beautiful love and devotion she has for her grandbaby!

    Reply
  5. Karen - May 19, 2017 2:50 pm

    This is a great story, I can relate be it wealthy or poor. Thank you for writing and for sharing with so many the truth about everyday life. Sean of the South, is a gift and your writing treasured by so many. It is real people, real life and salty. I appreciate your honesty, thank you!

    Karen of Oklahoma

    Reply
  6. Janet Mary Lee - May 19, 2017 5:33 pm

    Sean, you are amazing…so are they.

    Reply
  7. Bobbie - May 19, 2017 7:22 pm

    Thank the good Lord for caring and stubborn “grannies” and for nosy journalists!

    Reply
  8. Billy Joe Nunn - May 19, 2017 8:56 pm

    I am glad to have subscribed to this newsletter. It makes me feel better everytime I read one. Thanks for the positive about life. And you love music and a great musician. Even better. Take care and keep on doing what you are doing.

    Reply
  9. Jody Herren - May 19, 2017 9:02 pm

    Love, that’s just PURE LOVE for son and granddaughter.

    Reply
  10. Betty - May 19, 2017 9:57 pm

    All of your stories touch my heart. This one hit close to home. I’m still praying for my son.

    Reply
  11. Marsha - May 20, 2017 12:42 am

    Beautiful people with beautiful souls, that’s who you write about. The people who maybe don’t have much but are willing to be the hands of Jesus and do the right thing.

    Reply
  12. Jeannie - May 20, 2017 12:45 am

    What a fortunate family to have such a caring, loving grandmother. Teaching about Christ, always praying and unconditional love. I am sure that her life has not been easy, but she knows what is important. Thanks for writing this story to remind me

    Reply
  13. Judy Holley - May 20, 2017 4:44 am

    I’m never disappointed. Recently bought one of Sean’s books,The Other Side of the Bay. It was a one-sitting read (all night cause I just couldn’t find a good “stopping place”!) There is a tremendous gift here in capturing the essence & angst of the Southern soul. Great talent. Buy a book. Keep him writing.

    Reply
  14. Sandi - May 20, 2017 9:51 am

    Oh, how I do relish and savor your delightful writing style!

    Reply
  15. Joyce - May 20, 2017 12:09 pm

    Thank God for grandmothers.

    Reply

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