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…