When I was about six, my mother served me milk with my dinner. Milk and I have never gotten along so she usually served me water. When I politely refused, everyone was allowed to leave the table except me.
I sat there and watched the milk get more and more tepid by the hour.
Hours later, everyone started getting ready for bed and lights started to go out. My mother in her night gown checked on me one more time. She reminded me to drink my milk.
The house went dark except for one bathroom light. I felt abandoned and unloved.
My grandmother who lived with us walked into the kitchen to take her nightly meds. My mother yelled from her bedroom, asking Mama Ene to check on my progress.
My grandmother ran the sink faucet, walked over to the kitchen table, drank my glass of milk in one swallow. She never once looked at me but yelled into the darkness toward my parents’ bedroom. “She drank her milk.”
“At last.” I could hear my mother’s relief. The impasse was over.
I have NEVER loved anyone as much as I loved my grandmother that night.