The Midnight Run

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My paternal grandmother lived with my family while I was growing up, she was my solace. After her death, she has remained my ever present guardian. There were eight children and three adults living in a two bedroom house. When I was around five or six, my father added two more rooms. It was an interesting addition, he simply knocked open a doorway in the second bedroom and added on two rooms. The only thing was, you had to walk through the two rooms to get to the last room. At one point, I shared the second  room with my brother. 

I have a birth defect in my right shoulder and right arm, I was pulled out of my mother with forceps and it damaged the nerve endings and muscle in my arm and shoulder. Each night, Nana would rub my arm with warm olive oil at bedtime to keep the muscles limber. When she was finished, she would tuck me in and kiss me goodnight.

You should probably know that as a child...and as an adult, I have been a wee bit afraid of the dark. I think it is my imagination that sends my mind into a tailspin when the sun sets. Each night Nana tucked me in, I would wait with bated breath for the moment I could make my escape. When the house would grow quiet, I would ready myself for the run of a lifetime. I would silently pull down my covers and while still holding my breath, I would run down the dark hall as fast as I could. In one smooth jump, I would land on Nana's bed and snuggle myself into the spot between her warmth and the cool wall. There I would stay until morning. She never made me leave, she never mentioned it to me when she tucked me in and she never forbade it. 

The risk of the midnight run was always worth the warmth of my grandmother's bed. Each morning, I would turn over in the dim sunrise and watch as she put on her pantyhose and housecoat that had been hung over her chair the night before.  My brother has that chair in his house, that makes me so jealous. My only comfort is the fact that I will always have the nights and the thrill of the midnight run.