One hundred years ago today my grammy was born. She has been gone now for twelve years but I still miss her. She had a great amount of influence on my life.
When I was talking to my mom the other day (Mom is Grammy’s baby), I told her I was trying to figure out what made Grammy so great. I don’t remember her being a cuddler. She was no nonsense. However, she was available. Always available to clean a knee or strain the oatmeal that was too lumpy for my older sister (Sis didn’t like oatmeal so she made that excuse. I don’t remember if she ate it after it was strained. Gotta ask her).
Well, Mom said that Grammy most certainly was a cuddler. It was the Parkinson’s she had later in life that took away her confidence in being able to hold a little one. Still, Mom said, she followed each greatgrandchild with her eyes and held them that way. Also, Grammy had an aura about her, said Mom, that made her someone that children and adults alike wanted to be around.
Grams’ life started out very roughly. She was born of an Italian born "princess" who sucked all the life out of her first husband, Gram’s father, who died early on. Greatgrandma was cruel to my gram but couldn’t break her spirit. Thank God Grammy had a stepfather who loved her dearly. (To give you an idea how horrible my greatgrandmother was, when her second husband died he hadn’t left her the information for any monies he might have had in the bank!)
Going into the work force, Gram worked in an office at first. She told me of the pranks she played on her co-workers such as putting an elastic band around the wrist of one gentleman’s suit jacket. When he tried to put it on, he couldn’t get his hand through the sleeve! Oh, how I laughed hearing her stories!
Jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, she married my grandfather. Don’t get me wrong! I loved my grandfather. They weren’t a match made in heaven though. Blessedly, they had three children together and Gram fulfulled a dream in having them. From what I can tell, and from what Mom tells me, her children adored her. She was hands on in their lives.
The first eight years of my life we lived upstairs from my grandparents in a two-family house. When we would get up before our parents, we would go downstairs for breakfast. She would ask us in a scolding voice where our mother was. Sleeping. We were not intimidated by that scolding tone! Breakfast was served!
When we moved to a town about a mile and a half away from Gram my sister and I would walk to her house (that was when it was still safe for an eight and eleven year old to walk around without an adult.) Nothing could keep us away from her.
When she passed, we cried. Oh, how we cried. During my recent conversation with Mom I got all choked up talking about her. At the funeral home, the crowd was amazingly large. She had touched so many lives and had so greatly influenced her children and grandchildren that people who knew her and people who knew us came to pay their last respects and to comfort us.
I could go on and on about Grammy but I think I have drawn enough of a picture here. I miss you Grammy. See you on the other side.