The story goes that the day I was born my mother went shopping. She left the hospital with me and dropped me off with my grandmother so she could go shopping for girl's clothes because all she had were boy clothes. She was sure I would be a boy named James Truck Morris.
So the first day of my life, August 24, 1964, was spent in the arms of my grandmother, from here on referred to as Mamaw, and her best friend from high school, Muriel Tartarsky. Is it any wonder then, that I was thoroughly bonded to Mamaw in ways that even I do not understand? I don't know if Mamaw knew on this day that her own daughter, Betsy, had only four more mostly miserable years to live. I think so, but I don't know.
My first real memory of Mamaw is of shoe shopping at a children's boutique in Cherry Creek. I remember standing in front of her and walking up and down in front of the shoes. I remember they were white lace ups. I remember I wanted the pretty black patent leather Mary Janes and that she told me that someday I would have pretty shoes like that.
I remember the roundness of her voice and the sweetness of her smell. I remember holding hands with her in a hot parking lot. She had no fingernail on her left middle finger. It gave me the creeps, but I later learned that it was a symbol of love for her.