I didn’t spend a lot of time yesterday talking about my Grandma Lillie, the woman who raised me and my sister, in the audio blog, and that wasn’t necessarily intentional. However, considering today is the actual anniversary of her death, it’s probably more important I do this now than before.
Now, I often say I didn’t have a nickname until I got to college and then was dubbed the “Sav”, but that’s not the truth. I just never considered it a nickname because it wasn’t “nicked”. But my grandmother had given me another name since I had functional memory.
Apparently, even at the age of 2/3, my tush was something to behold—that Jordan Body in its early stage. But not only that, I’d even run up to my grandmother and sing “Pat the butt, Grandma, pat the butt!” So she’d call me Butt-Butt and pat my tushie as she’d sing the “Pat the Butt-Butt!” song. Clearly, I was crazy, because there other times when I’d run and hide from when she’d want to “whoop that ass!”
It was not a game.
But then my younger sister came along, complete with the Jordan Body herself, so my Grandmother snatched my first name from me and tacked it onto her! Probably one of the reasons from age BIRTH to about SEVEN of my sis I couldn’t stand her, but then Grandma gave me a new name.
Bana. And then she’d call me “Bana-Bana”. And I don’t think I ever told my friends this at home, but then they started calling me that, because that’s what my grandmother called me. And then my sis calls me “Ban”.
So, yeah. She’s never going to call me Bana anymore, and that’s really…an awful thing to never hear from her again. My poor sister has been crying on and off all day; I think she’s taking this harder than I am in a lot of ways, because she had to watch the demise up close. She was also there when Grandma passed away; I was too busy driving back home thinking she would make it another day. And I miss her. There are some days that are so gorgeously sunny and I think, “Today would be a perfect day to call Grandma”, and then I remember I can’t anymore. Every time I drive home, or arrive from a trip, it is always bittersweet because I remember I can’t call Grandma to tell her I made it safely. But then, so many positive things have happened to me that I can’t help but think she, my Grandma Katie, and my mama are whispering in God’s ear about me. And my sister, for that matter. I firmly think everything happens for a reason, and the reason why I decided to move, or to start my Lent Project 2010, or to follow my own path with this writing thing, I got the strength to follow my lead from her. She supported me fully in my writing, talking me and my books up, almost annoying me with requests to ship her some autographed books from Boston so she could sell them to her classes (she taught arts and crafts) or to damn near anyone who called the house. And she got her sales too.
Grandma was boss. I want to be that boss when I grow up, with the name she gave me.
Lillie Belle Jordan Glover: November 30, 1921 - May 9, 2010