Friday, December 24, 2010

Grandma Waters

Grandma Waters was my great-grandmother on my dad's side of the family (his mom's mom). When I was about 12-14 my dad would hang this big quilting frame from the ceiling in our garage and Grandma would come over and make patchwork quilts from scraps of fabric. Lovely, warm, hodge-podge quilts. We used to take her fishing, too. She loved to fish.

Anyway, back to quilting in the garage. She used to tell us stories as she sewed the quilt. One day she was talking about her family and she told me she was the last of the Mohicans. I was in awe. Later that night I went and told my mom that Grandma Waters was the last Indian. She scoffed at me. I told her I was serious, Grandma had told me so! She said no, grandma is black, not Indian. I protested. She had TOLD me. Why would she tell me she was the last of the Mohicans if she wasn't an Indian??? (Forget that I hadn't put any thought into how we could be black if she was Indian... maybe she was only part Indian, but I was like 12, I didn't think about the logistics.)

My mother burst my bubble and told me that Grandma had said that because she was the last one in her family still living. She didn't mean she was a real Indian, she just meant that she was the only one of her siblings living.

For one day, though, my great-grandmother was the last living Native American Indian.

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