Penny Game

We would sit on the top step,
jockeying for more space on the dark wood,
slip-sliding in the seats of our footed pajamas.
There was no game board.
The stairwell of the manse worked the best.
Tim would go first, and then me, and finally Cory.
Matt was already in bed by the time the game began.
We would taking turns guessing, and if you were correct,
If you picked the hand with the penny,
You moved down one step.
And we would take turns. And we would move down the steps.
Getting to the bottom first was only part of the prize.
For every correct guess, Grimsy would also
Add a whole-hearted, “wheeeeeee.”

That was Grimsy.

She was never the center of attention.
But her little giggle was part of every conversation.
She never went off the rope swing.
But she could swim across the lake without getting her hair wet.

Other grandmothers give out sweets.
Grimsy made the best granola.
Other grandmothers let you stay up past bedtime.
Grimsy would sit with you on the porch swing, and listen
To every single story you offered, asking questions,
Making you feel like your 11 year old perspective was important.

Grimsy never turned down a game of Rack-O or golf or King’s Reverse.

And she would always be at the top of the dock steps,
Waving a goodbye you could see from the spillway.

Now, she’s preparing to say goodbye again,
And we want one more guess for the penny.
We want one more chance to pick which hand…
To hold her hand.

To the Sisters, she’s mom.
To Daddy Paul, she’ll always be Mims.
To all of us, she is Gramma Mimsy.
She’s our Grimsy.

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