The holidays can be a rough time for many. I openly admit that it isn’t my favorite time of year, but this December 25 was a bit sadder. My great grandmother passed away a few days before Christmas. Since I wasn’t able to make it home for her funeral service, my trip home turned into a tribute to Grandmother.
I visited family and friends, trying to make the most of each moment I had with them. I played catch with my two almost-nephews, ate lunch with my grandfather, chatted with my cousins, and discussed half marathon plans with one of them. One request that took me by surprise was my mom’s wish to learn how to skate.
My old teammate from Panama City Roller Derby, Wyatt Riot, happily let us use her gear (because there’s no way I’m teaching anyone how to skate without pads and a helmet). We went to Rock’It Lanes on Panama City Beach because I didn’t think it would be too busy. (I assured my mom that if she did happen to fall on a child that they are quite bouncy.)
Helping my mom gear up was kind of like helping an alternate version of myself. Since, there is a strong resemblance between us, there were moments where it really seemed as if
I was watching myself learn to skate all over again. She did the cute stiff arm thing we all do when we are first getting our balance, but it wasn’t long before she started swinging her arms more naturally. Mom started plow stopping to control her speed instead of just running into the walls of the rink and grabbing desperately at the railing. In an hour and a half, Mom was skating smoother than a lot of other people I’ve seen after months of skating. She even had other skaters at the rink cheering her on.
Grandmother had always been very active. As a high school student, she played basketball. As an adult, she continued with her love of gardening and fishing. Part of me feels like she was there with us, cheering us on.