The night before last I got word that my Gramma was in hospice, not doing well, and needed my prayers–and within 24 hours she was gone. And during that time as I worked to pass all of my positive energy her way I was flooded with memories that I’m lucky enough to have and to hold onto for a lifetime. Because my Gramma rocked!
My Gramma and my mom, her oldest, each started families young, so as a result, my Gram was a year younger than I am now when I made her a Gramma–that alone blows my mind. I’m far too young to be a Gramma–right?!?! So it’s easy to say that I have always had the coolest Gramma out there! And it’s because she was so young and so darn healthy that she lived a wonderful long life and blessed me with ability to have a living grandparent well into my 40s and gift by boys with a Gigi (Great Gramma). #blessed
The more that I think of her, the more memories that come and each of them makes me smile. Here are just a few.
She was a nurse, so it was only logical that she would pierce my ears…the first time in Kindergarten with a piece of ice, sharp needle and a carrot behind the ear, and again in 6th grade when I was positive a second set of holes was absolutely necessary. I only fainted once.
She was by far the best dressed person I knew my entire life. Not the best dressed Gramma, best dressed anyone! And man could she rock a track suit!
She and my Grampa were incredibly healthy–way before being healthy was cool. When I got sick she had a vitamin C protocol for me and every blemish merited the breaking open of a vitamin E capsule to rub upon it. It never made any sense to me when they would order fried chicken and take all of the skin off of it…isn’t the skin why you order fried chicken?? And don’t even get me started on their cereal mixing habits for breakfast.
Their house was “on the way” home from work when I was in high school and I invariably would stop to say hello, on the guise that I would need a piece of gum, which she always had a big container of, along with one of red hots.
She never missed a birthday which she would celebrate with $2 bills–I’m pretty sure she kept the mint of $2 bills in business and growing up she would have custom underwear made for each of us for Valentines Day. #random
She was always up for shopping, so she and I would load up in her giant baby blue Cadillac and head to Des Moines to hit the malls. This is back in the day when you actually had to talk to the person you were road tripping with–we would talk non stop the whole time! We would drive by Jamaica, Iowa and she would set her cruise control and announce, “We are taking a cruise by Jamaica!”
She always supported my interests and my need to be employed–one winter she decided she wanted to wallpaper her living room and dining room which was wood paneling. So she paid me to fill all the lines in of the paneling with spackling, I kid you not. And one summer I worked on a motley crew of kids that painted every surface of the farm white. That’s a lot of surfaces.
There were about a million sleep overs at the farm in my childhood, which meant hours spent of imaginary play on “Shady Lane”, the line of trees on the backside of the farm, and falling asleep to the clanking of the pig feeders.
They were the first people I knew to get satellite TV, which was big enough to send ET home, and she would work so hard to help us coordinate the settings to find MTV and even recorded the Thriller video for us so that we could memorize each move. Moves that I retain today and embarrass my children with whenever I can.
She vacuumed after every meal with her hokey brush vacuum–never a crumb to be found and hid automatic air fresheners every where. She stone washed her own jeans and rode the rider mower in cuts off and a tank top. She had a pension for rocking chairs and wing backs, insisted that tin foil could always be used again, and made me realize just how awesome my hair is going to look as I go white!
She rocked. Period.
While I was blessed to have a 93 year old Gramma in my life, I was not able to hold onto my mom that long as I lost her 8+ years ago. But knowing my Gram was still with me, even though it hit her very hard to lose a child and it was the beginning of her end as well, that helped me cope in my grief. I would say, “I’ve lost my mom, but I still have both of her parents (those vitamins and mixed cereal paid in dividends)!”
Now they are all gone, which makes me cry as I type this, but I assure you they are having the biggest flippin’ group hug in heaven as we speak and the world is by far a better place for the time they were each on earth.