Grandma’s hand’s chapter 3
Grandma reached for her ice tea took a sip and continued her story. “Daniel came by before he left town had a loud heated word with your grandpa. Your grandpa came into the house shortly after Daniel left, Daniel’s truck was kicking up gravel as he barreled down the road. Your grandpa said to me ‘well I put the boy in his place he knows now why I had it in for him and Jessica dating’ I took a breath and hoped this was the end of it. When I heard that he left town after his spat with his dad I was relieved. “
After she sipped her tea she thanked me for her lunch and in between bites she continued her story.
“As time went by and your Grandpa passed on Ethan and I took up where we left off.”
I sat for a moment trying to comprehend exactly what she said. Grandma saw my hesitation as I got up to take our dishes back to the kitchen.
She continued: “Ethan and I dated before I dated your grandpa. Back then Ethan was a roustabout; he drove fast, drank like a fish, and brawled like a redneck at closing time. I was in love with him but I did not want to marry a boy I wanted to marry a man and have a family. I met your grandpa we were in the middle of getting to know each other when I found out I was pregnant with your mom. My dear Lou asked me to marry him knowing full well your mom was Ethan’s offspring.”
My ears started to ring my head felt woozy I tried to stand up but could not. I sat heavily down deep into my chair. I could not hide my discomfort from Grandma she knew me far too well.
Grandma asked: “Emma is Mike’s offspring isn’t she?”
I answered: “Yes, grandma she is. I had a big fight with Mark one evening at Tyler’s Pub. I retreated to the lady’s room when I came out Mark was in the men’s room and Mike was standing at the corner of the bar and he turned towards me when I walked out. I walked over and asked if he would drive me home. He did. I got what I thought would be revenge against Mark who took Bella Jean to Mio for the Mud Bog the weekend before.”
Grandma asked: “Does Mark know that Emma is Mike’s offspring?”
I said: “Yes, Grandma he knows he doesn’t care as long as Mike doesn’t know.”
Grandma reached for my hand took it into hers. Her skin was cold her fingers were boney but the warmth from her heart turned my fear into tears of regret.
Grandma said: “We all have our secrets I needed to bare mine to you. Your mom does not need to know that Lou wasn’t her biological dad but I needed to tell. It is probably selfish of me to tell but I am close to my end and I felt I should tell the worst of what I know. This part is not easy. I know you will keep your promise.”
I looked directly into my Grandma’s eyes they were clouded with age, she suddenly looked frail. I said: “Grandma is there something else besides the truth about mom’s dad? Grandma, you still have years to go before you leave us.”
Grandma patted my hand as she pulled hers away. “Yes, Madison there is more. I know my time is near, don’t ask me how I know I just do. Ethan should know the truth about Daniel. He never left town. The next day I went into town to pick up some laundry that needed ironing when I arrived back home your grandpa was washing down the backhoe. I walked over just as your grandpa grabbed his chest. That was the day your grandpa had a heart attack and died. It was also the day when Daniel was buried behind the barn. Your grandpa told me Daniel wanted visitation rights he wanted to be part of your mom’s life. They fought about it Daniel was not going to leave it be. Your grandpa made sure it was left in the past.”
I did not mean to say it out loud: “Holy Crap.”
My grandma sighed as she got up slowly she turned to me she said: “I need to take a nap.”
Grandma never woke from her nap. After the memorial service, I took my dad aside told him what grandma told me and asked him what I should do. He said he would take care of it. We had another memorial service for Daniel a couple of days later and buried him next to his mom.
Mark manned up and had a sit down with Mike. We let Mike have time with Emma. I was grateful that Mike just wanted Emma to know that he loved her. Mike figured from the start that Emma was his he was not about to get in the way of my happiness. Secrets are hard to keep and some should never be kept.