she was 73 years old, and quite a hefty woman for her age i might add. piercing gray-blue eyes, a worn out voice, and a body that no longer showed her glory from the old days, she sat on the park bench in her powder green dress, with a bag of groceries and her rugged copy of 'wuthering heights'. she had a soft smile plastered on her face, hiding the work her mind was doing. Mrs. Norman, or gran, was what most of the people called her. she'd play with the little ones when they had no one else to go to, baby sit for the parents who were never around to watch their kids grow, and chat with the lonely ones her own age, sharing the grief and happiness together. to those who barely knew her, she was the 'old lady' across the street, living in the brown brick apartment buliding on the ground floor. Wilma Norman was a normal woman of sorts.
her husband passed away nearly 8 years ago, and her grief was not known to the others, for she was as jolly as a tulip swaying in the warm summer wind. it was 2pm in the afternoon that she walked home. she unlocked the door, hung up her pink sweater, and left the keys on the dresser. she kissed her husband's portrait in the corridor, and smiled at his content face. she made tea, and sipped it as she laughed at the children playing next door.
Alison, her 27 year old daughter, was married, and lived a few blocks away from Gran. she was a spitting image of her mother at her age, and just as vibrant. Alison had twin children, Anna and Jack, and her husband Adam, was just as dear to Gran as her own child.
mid-afternoon, as Gran was arranging her library, Alison came by to drop of the twins. "Ma, i'm going by the mall...Adam's away at work, and i was going to take them with me to shop for new clothes for them, but they said they wanted to play with you.", she smiled. Mrs. Norman's face broke into her wide playful grin as the two children jumped into her arms. "oh my two darlings, i have a game in mind for you...and some cookies in the kitchen. go get 'em!" the twins squirmed as she tickled them and then ran to the kitchen to gorge on the cookies. Alison hugged her mother and said "thanks, Ma. you look a little pale. anything i can get you? you really need to stop running around all the time." Wilma laughed at that and said "why would you say that and take the remainder of my youth away from me? i'm happy, aly, as happy as i've always been. don't you worry." Alison kissed her mother and her two children goodbye. that afternoon, Mrs. Norman read to her two grandchildren, played with their train set, danced around with them and finally dropped them off at her daughter's house. she came back home after chatting with her friends along the way, and made dinner. later that night, she caught an episode of her night time t.v shows, before changing for bed.
it was late, when she finally retired to her room for the day. she smiled back at the day she had had, her two angels, her daughter, her son, her friends...everyine she loved was always on her mind. she stared at the ceiling and thought of her husband. his side of the bed empty, his pillow untouched, his bedspread neat. a tear then trickled down her cheek. true, she was Wilma Norman, the Gran who always smiled. but no one ever knew that every night as she lay in bed and thought of the love of her life, the old lady cried.
P.S: NOT a true story. the title line is the only thing i'd thought of, the rest came along while typing. =)