“We didn’t lock our doors in Homewood. My grandmother would say if someone knocked on the door and said they was hungry, she’d let ‘em in.”
When I went to take care of my grandmother, I was in High School. We didn’t lock our doors in Homewood. My grandmother would say if someone knocked on the door and said they was hungry, she’d let ‘em in. When I came home, every time she’d ask me, “Where was you at?” I said, “I was with some friends.” She’d say, “You always tell me that.” One day she said, “If I can count five friends on one hand, I’m doin’ good.” I said, “Gram, everybody loves you. I mean, everybody.” She said, “If you can count five friends on one hand, you’re doin’ good.” Didn’t think too much about it. Then, when she died, my mother said, “You didn’t just lose your grandma, you lost your best friend.”
One day I’m walking around with crutches, going to my father’s house. I must have been in my late 20s. I didn’t have anywhere to stay. When I go over there, my dad said, “No. You can’t.” I walked from Penn Hills back to Homewood on crutches. I went to another friend’s house. My best friend, I thought. He said “no,” too. One guy said, “Yes.” He said, “my wife, my kids, we don’t care, you can stay here.” That night I realized what she was talking about. Years later I realized what she was saying. Just trust me. If you’ve got five friends, right now, count ‘em. You count ‘em.