Old Songs and Railroad Tracks

My Grandmother

My Grandmother

My Grandmother helped raise me, whenever I got to be too much for my mother, or I got sick and needed more care than standard I would be shipped off to my Grandparents. I was the youngest grandchild and the only girl, I was spoiled. My Grandmother was old school. She had been raised to save everything, there was balls of tin foil, plastic bags full of bread bags, rubber bands…drawers of “just in” case stuff.

She used to sing to me, songs of another era. We would walk for miles and she would sing me melodies as we followed the railroad tracks. After each song, she would tell me a story that went along with it.When I was little I didn’t understand a lot of the words of the songs or the stories that accompanied I just liked the sound, but as I grew older I would notice how far away her eyes would get when she would sing. Like she remembered the film of her life as she sang. This made me start listening closer to the words and the stories after. It was about loves that were lost, about boys going off to fight in WW2, about trying to go on after. I think she really was reliving moments of her life as we walked along those tracks.

My Grandmother died about 10 years ago. After her death, many things came to light about her life that her children never knew. For a woman that was so predictable with her saving of tin foil, her daily trips to Mass, and her life being the same day in and day out, she kept a lot of secrets. And I think that a few of them were shared with a little girl that liked to listen to her grandma sing and tell stories.

“I am blue, I am blue, aren’t the tears in my eyes telling you?”


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