My family comes from small places. I get my anxieties honestly.
My grandmother was one of eighteen children, none of them multiples. Her father was mean and he drank. She didn't talk about her childhood often, but there were whispers of a thread that followed her. She never admitted sexual abuse outright, but we knew it was there.
She and her sisters would run out of the house at night in their flannel night shirts to hide in the corn fields that surrounded them. Her mother didn't scream as much as she might, but they hid from the sound, praying he would finish with her and head up the stairs. They huddled under the rustling stalks, leaves that cut the palms of your hands and felt like sandpaper.
My grandmother was not a dramatic woman, but she came under the spell of anxieties, and in the end, those anxieties kept her company until her grave. She developed a brain tumor that made it so she couldn't sit still. She wandered her house all night. During the day, she fiddled with the blinds and changed the channel on the television so many times, there wasn't anybody who could stand to be near her. Her ankles were bruised and swollen. She might have died sooner, had her nerves, being pressed upon by the cancer, allowed her get to get a moment's rest.
Rest was something she needed, when it came time.
My mother speaks like my Grandmother. Throughout my childhood, she told us to "Red up your room," and that the washer needed fixed. We played in a crick behind our forth grade teacher's house.
My father hated everything. He felt like the world owed him something it didn't. He called my mother stupid, and so I put up barriers against her colloquialisms. I made my speech pure. I called a soda a soda.
I'm linking this post up with Write On Edge. This week's memoir prompt was to discuss colloquialisms.