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  • Writer's pictureVicki Viall

But, You Thought I Could

If I were sitting down face-to-face with you right now having a friendly conversation, and, if I were to ask you who the most important person in the world to you is, or was, would you have a ready answer?

I would.

However, there are so many with the same meaning, that list might be much more difficult to narrow down.

Just a few to choose from could be:

Grandmother, Grandma, Granny, Grammy, Nana, Meemaw, Maw-maw, Mimi, Gigi, Grand-mère, Oma, Seanmháthair, Nonna, Babushka, Abuela are but a few.

Mine, my grandmother, was the foundation of my universe.

And, a good thing since the female parental unit was not.

My earliest memories of my grandmother are her reading to me and teaching me to read.

Of watching Roller Derby on TV with her.

Spending time at her side as she was knitting, crocheting, sewing, hooking rugs or involved in some other craft.

And always, always, always was the scent of baking bread or biscuits that permeated her house.

To this day, that smell will transport me back thru the years right to a seat on the floor by her feet.

I remember her telling me how well I was learning to read.

I told her I didn't think I was.

But, she thought I could, would and was.

As I spent time watching her arthritic hands with a needle and thread, or operating her sewing machine, or whichever craft of the moment she was toiling with, I would whine how I wished I could do all that.

And, she'd tell me I could.

She was the one who took us wild young 'uns to the skating rink every weekend. Usually, she would make time to come in and sit and watch and cheer us on.

When I thought I had spent too much of the afternoon picking myself off the rink floor again, she'd just smile.

She'd tell me one more time that she knew I could do it.

If my big brother and I were together at her house, she made sure (somehow!) that we were both the center of her attention.

I can honestly say, she didn't spoil us, but disciplined us with love, and gentleness, and kindness.

She encouraged all our crazy ideas and endeavors. In fact, I believe to this day that SHE instigated a large portion of them.

But, never failed she knew we had done it because she'd tell us she knew we could.

So many times, so many more than I can count, I would find my Grandmother standing at my shoulder and whispering in my ear that, I think you can do it.

With all the downers and naysayers that usually surrounded me, that was like a nice, cold glass of water.


So, imagine how it felt one day when it was just Grandmother and myself at her house.

She said she felt a deep-seated need to tell me something. To set something straight.

Got to say, I was a little nervous around that time.

With all else I was dealing with, I was afraid she was about to shut me down or something.

Well, she did sit me down and proceeded to let me know that she knew about some of the things I was going through that no one else on the face of the earth knew about.

I take that back. One other person did. But we aren't discussing that person.

Grandmother said she was very sorry for things I had gone through and been subjected too. She said she would give anything to make them up to me.

I told her she had! Many times. Frequently. Often.

"When?" she asked, "and how?"

I shrugged, struggling to maintain some form of composure.

"Every, single time you told me that you thought I could do something."

"Oh dear child," she said. "I either stated that incorrectly to you, or you have remembered it incorrectly."

I just looked at her and waited.

"It's not that I ever thought you had or would encounter anything that I didn't think you could do."

"No, there was never a time, dear girl, that I had any doubt at all and believed with all my heart that you WILL do anything that you set your mind and heart on!"

I got what she was saying. In her own quiet way, she was letting me know that she 100% believed in me.

No one else on earth had ever said that to me. I felt like I could fly!

And, in a way, she freed me from earth's chains that day to do just that.

Yes, Grandmother, you are the reason Jeff and I turned out to be the humans beings we became.

All that is or was good in either of us, started with and ended with you!

I love you and miss you.

And, I know beyond all doubt that the occasional breeze or whisper in the air is you saying hello and I KNEW you could!

Thank you!

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