The last 6 months of my life have been one giant downhill. Having a pet put to sleep, divorce, issues at work and now a death in the family. Yesterday I found out my grandmother passed away. While she was in her 80’s and her death was expected, it is still hard to deal with death. I know I have seen more than my fair share in life. My step father passed away when I was 12, a sister passed away when I was 16. My grandfather passed away a week after my first marriage. My mom passed away in ’04 and now my grandmother. Not to mention other friends through out my life. High school classmate passed during my senior year, 3 more the year after I graduated plus countless others throughout my life time.
Last night I went to bed thinking about my grandmother. I can remember being a youngin and hearing her fuss at my uncles about them picking on me. I remember her taking me to swim lessons when I was 5 years old. How she begged my mom to get me to take piano lessons (which now, I wish had taken those lessons. Nothing is as soothing or as moving as hearing a piano being played.) I remember spending my summers at my grandmothers. She would take me swimming at the apartments where she lived, she would sit on the edge of the pool with her legs in the water and when I was 5, I would hold onto her legs and she would bounce me up and down in the water.
One memory that stands out the most is when I was about 10 or 11; I was at her apartment’s one summer night playing hide and seek with other kids. I came running around a corner and this lady had a German Sheppard that came running at me and bit me a few times. I ran home and told my grandmother about it. She marched herself over to this ladies apartment that owned the dog and proceeded to just “lay” into her about the dog. At 4’9” tall, my grandmother sure was a firecracker.
Here is a funny story. Who remembers cabbage patch dolls? Who HAD a cabbage patch doll? LOL. Well the one year that were super popular, what 83 or 84, and they were scarce, my mom wanted to get my sister one so bad for Christmas. Back then there were no Wal-Mart’s that were open all night. In fact the only thing open all night was a Super X drugstore. Even the grocery store closed at midnight. So this particular night grandmother was out doing her shopping because they only had one car and my grandfather was a traveling insurance salesman, she went into Super X and they were stocking cabbage patch dolls on the shelves. I remember my mom answering the phone and basically screaming into the phone yes to get the doll. Hell get 2 of them. The next day I am over at my grandmothers and she isn’t feeling to well, so I ask what’s wrong. Well come to find out my SHORT grandmother couldn’t reach the top of the shelf so she tried to “climb” the display and fell off, topping all of these cabbage patch dolls on her. I don’t know what came of all that, but I do remember how my uncles made fun of her. I am sure this story will be told this weekend and many many laughs will be shared about this.
My grandmother was sneaky. My oldest uncle worked at a grocery store during high school and college. So often times he would come home with his own food and keep it hidden in his bed room. My uncle has a thing for Little Debbie snack cakes, particular Swiss Cake Rolls. So, when my uncle would be at work or at school, grandmother would sneak into his room and steal a Swiss Cake Roll. Well then I would want one, so she would steal another. This always pissed my uncle off. Hmm, in fact to this day maybe that’s why he has such anger issues. LOL.
Another funny story. One year for my grandmother’s birthday, mom, sister and I took her to Red Lobster. Grandmother LOVED Red Lobster so it was an annual thing for a long long time to take her there. Lets see, this particular story was probably late ‘90’s nothing unusual about this particular birthday. Grandmother stealing sips of mom’s vodka cranberries or a bite off someone’s plate to sample what the others got. However, when it we were done eating grandmother pulled out her oversized bag and proceeded to pull out empty yogurt cups with lids and proceeded to empty everyone’s plate. If I had a forkful of rice left, grandmother scooped it up. NOTHING went to waste with my grandmother. Not only was she frugal but a hoarder. She literally had hundreds of these yogurt cups at her house. HUNDREDS!!!! My sister and I laughed at her. And grandmother simply replied in her grandmotherly way, “All of these left over are will make a wonderful snack later.” She took the one remaining AND half eaten cheddar biscuit and even polished off the last two drops of the vodka cranberry. I asked grandmother if she wanted the sweetnlow and sugar from the table and she replied sure. I said hell, why not and tossed the mini corona bottles used as salt and pepper shakers into her bag too. When the waitress came to clean the table, all she would find is 4 empty classes and 4 clean plates. Grandmother didn’t waste anything. LOL In fact, to this day, I still have those salt and pepper shakers and I use them.
3 things I can thank my grandmother for. My love and affection of yogurt, fig Newton’s and no bake cookies. Last night, when I got home, my dinner consisted of 2 cups of yogurt, a banana and fig Newton’s. All in honor of my grandmother. This weekend at some point I plan on making home made no bake cookies.
There are so many stories I could tell about my grandmother. Most of them funny since she has and always will be the highlight of growing up. I could always turn to my grandmother for advice, or help in some way. She took me in when I was going through my first divorce and for 2 years I lived with her. She would cook and do laundry. I would grocery shop and take care of the house. Sometimes we butted heads when she found out I snuck a girl in the back door to spend the night or if I bought the wrong item at the store. But one thing was certain through out my 39 years of life. Grandmother was always there. And her infinite wisdom always won out over anything.
I haven’t seen my grandmother in a few years, but we spoke often on the phone. My only regret is not being there for her yesterday when she took her final breath and left this world. But I have comfort in my heart and soul knowing that she is now reunited not only with all her friends but her family as well in heaven. She is once again hand in hand with my grand father and reunited with her only daughter, my mother in heaven. The last time I spoke with my grandmother, back in January, I ended the phone call with the same words I have been saying to her ever since I was able to mutter these words and I will end this with those same words.
I love you grandmother.