I do not remember a lot about my childhood, but some things really just stand out for me. One of those, is my grandparents. Specifically today, thinking of my grandma.
One of the last pictures we have of my grandma was her last Thanksgiving. The four grand-kids stood around her and had our picture taken with her, knowing it was probably one of the last pictures we’d have of her. She was so happy to see everyone and Lucky, the cat. Lucky was originally my Grandpa’s cat, but, well, you know cats. My mom has that picture in her house, and it makes me smile every time I see it.
I remember as a little girl, going to my grandma’s on school breaks and Grandma teaching me to bake bread. I was 8 or 9 when she first taught me. Mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, letting it sit on the stove (for the warmth) to rise, punching it down, kneading, and so on. It was the best bread ever.
I remember grandma putting my hair in sponge rollers for Easter and my hair was curly like Shirley Temple. and her trying to brush some of the curls out. I don’t think my mom was too thrilled with that, but she let Grandma do it.
I remember taking my first long term boyfriend down to San Diego to meet her. While we were there, she comforted me in my decision to leave school for awhile, and telling me that my mom had as well. Something mom had never told me.
I remember her chili con carne, with mashed potatoes. One of the best ever meals from Grandma: chili con carne on mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, and salad. She made it most times that we went to visit her because we loved it so much.
I remember my sister and I playing with all the fun stuff at her house. The old manual calculator that you had to pull the lever to move the paper forward, the old secretariat desk that she let us play at, despite the fact that she was still using it, the old dolls from my mom and aunt’s youth and the club house that my grandpa had built for them when they were young.
I remember the glass candy bowl on her buffet table that my sister and I would run for when we got there. If I didn’t like the candy in the bowl, she’d sneak me some other candy or a cookie from the kitchen. I don’t think mom was too happy about that either. 😀
I remember her trying to teach me to knit and crochet. She always made sure my sister, dad, and I had MeMa Pippers (Grandma slippers). When I was little, I didn’t catch on to yarn. Now, I wish I had, as I love it now. I even made MeMa Pippers for my mom one Christmas. My grandma had never made them for my mom, strangely enough.
I remember my grandfather funeral, with her sitting there, seemingly emotionless. My sister breaking down, and being given the look that she shouldn’t be showing such a display in public. Grandma insisted on everyone being stoic. No public displays of emotion. Something my mom has fought all her life, and tries her best, specially now with my overly emotional girls.
I remember my youngest cousin’s high school graduation and my sister and I went early to see Grandma in the nursing home. She was getting her hair done and smiling as we came in to see her. Mom still has that picture too as we had the beautician that was volunteering her time take our picture.
I remember the day she died. I got a call just after 6 am and it was my mom. All she said was “It’s over.” I knew exactly what she meant by that. We had been warned the week before when my mom and I drove down there on my day off from work, that the end was near for her. I went to work, it was a Friday, and our company Christmas party was that night (12/16/94) and no one could believe I was working, and intended on going to the company party. Grandma would have insisted on it.
Grandma’s favorite hymn was “How Great Thou Art.” I still can’t listen to that hymn without tearing up. I can guarantee if I’m singing it in church, I have to stop to get myself back together before singing on.
So, Grandma, for you, this lovely version posted on GodVine… We love you and miss you greatly.