Monday, August 29

Top Ten List, Grandma Edition

Today is my mom's birthday AND the day my grandmother passed away six years ago. Such a strange mix of emotions that time really does even out after a little while. This picture is from 2001, shortly after my Maggie was born. My grandmother had a heart attack that summer, and she spent a lot of time in the hospital. On her birthday (which was the 15th of August), I just had to sneak Maggie up to see her. Such a grand memory for me, such a great picture for Maggie to keep forever. So in honor of the legacy she left me, here is my Top Ten List; Grandma Edition:


Top Ten Facts about my Grandma

  1. She was a little bitty woman. 5'2" exactly. I spent my whole childhood waiting to hit her height. By fourth grade, we could share shoes. By sixth grade, I was her height, and by seventh grade, I was taller. If you know my mom and how tall she is, it is hard to imagine my little bitty grandma.
  2. When she cooked, she cooked for an army. She raised six children of her own, and by the time we came along, she didn't know how to cook for a small group of people. Every meal she planned could have fed twelve people. We ate lots of leftovers. She was an unbelievably good cook.
  3. Her work ethic was strong. She worked hard for what little she had. She wasn't one to complain and wait for something to be handed to her. If she needed something, you probably didn't realize it. Some of it was complete and utter pride, but mostly it was personal responsibility.
  4. She was FUNNY. She made me laugh almost every day of my childhood, and yes, I saw her most every day. She lived outside the box. Most pictures I have of her are completely silly...you know, making faces, wearing strange hats, posing silly. She was good at rallying the troops through laughter and fun.
  5. Her bed was tall, long before pillow-top mattresses and such. My brother and I LOVED that bed. For many years, it was a playground of sorts. It was a fishing boat the day my brother pulled my arm out-of-socket; he was the fisherman and I was the fish. It was where we piled up after the unwrapping of Christmas gifts and played for hours. The brass foot board was my jungle gym and where I learned to cherry drop. It is still hard for me to imagine her bedroom without that bed!
  6. She could not swim and was deathly afraid of water. Yet every year, she ventured to the coast with us. She spent hours on the sand and every once in a while found herself on an inner tube in the surf. On the rainy days, we would ALWAYS put together a jigsaw puzzle. I learned to play Rummy and Solitaire by spending time with her and my granddaddy.
  7. Her yard was my favorite playground. She had a swing. At one point, she had a slide. She always had laundry hanging that we could run through, and she never yelled at us for doing just that! At one point there was even a tin can putting course back there. Her yard backed up to three other grandmothers' yards, and on weekends and holidays, we were assured a handful of steady playmates. Those were definitely some good times.
  8. She was fanatic about the National Enquirer and Pro Wrestling (?). No matter how bizarre, she would not be convinced that it was made up junk. She really believed that stuff. I think had she lived to see the recent dying off of wrestlers, she would have been heartbroken.
  9. She always made me feel special when she told the story of how she broke her arm. I was a baby, and she had me in the tub bathing me. A storm blew up, and all she could think about was the laundry hanging out on the line, and how I needed some dry diapers and clothes. She ran to grab some things off the line and fell down the back steps. Her arm was broken, but all she could think about was getting back to me. Nothing, and I mean nothing, helps a person feel loved more than a story like that. And she told it often enough that I actually believed I was that important to her. I was.
  10. She was strong as steel. When her world fell apart, she bucked up and made the best of it. When my world fell apart so many years later, she taught me how to buck up and make the most of it. I really did love her so, so much...enough to name my Maggie after her.

No comments: