Only once did I bring just a swallow. My grandma drank heaping mugs of water. When she said "swalla" she meant to fill her favorite mug to the brim with ice cold water.
I still have that mug.
As is usually the case when someone dies there are things you wished you'd told them, had a chance to tell them. It occurs to me that I'd never told Big Mama that I loved her. Of course she never said those words to me either. She wasn't that type, but I knew she did and I presume she knew I loved her as well.
In the years since her death I found myself trying to recall our last vocal exchange and I just can't bring it forth. It was likely something inconsequential. Or perhaps having to do with plants as by that time I was into house plants and she was quite the guru when it came to keeping greenery indoors.
During my recent illiness my imagination ran a bit wild. I found myself
Me: Big Mama, why Gunsmoke?
Big Mama: Miss Kitty. Now go fetch me a swalla o water, gal.