Grannie has been living with us for as long as I remember. She is the sweetest and quietest old lady I know. She never scolds us or nags at us. Pure heaven when I was growing up and angry half the time. Then I got curious about her life when she was much younger and started to ask questions which she mostly answered with a smile and nod. I soon gathered from my aunties and uncles that my grannie, like so many women of her generation, led a life of hardship and toil. Plus my grandfather’s passing had hit her hard. I guess she really didn’t want to be reminded of the past and my broken Hainanese had probably confused her too much anyway. So I stopped trying to strike up a conversation and instead looked forward to the twinkle in her eyes when she smiled.
Over the years I learnt that grannie loves make-up, a good perm, nice clothes, shoes and accessories. One of my first gifts to her was a tube of lipstick which made her smile a lot and made me feel very glowy and warm inside. Amazing what a little gift can bring so much happiness to an old lady. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to make grannie a cotton blanket when my aunt said that the terry toweled one she is using is too hot for the humid tropical nights.
Off I went to Pasar Mayestik (where else?), bought pretty cotton fabric and begin cutting, pinning and sewing away!
The blanket took longer than I expected with the extra touches but when I presented the blanket to grannie, her upturned lips and smiley sparkly eyes made me feel glowy and warm inside all over again.
Perhaps I’ll try my hand at sewing her an outfit next time.