My Grandma

My Grandma was always such a character, even from my earliest memories.  She never really did things that other Grandmothers did.  Instead of baking cookies, she made fried bologna sandwiches.  She was married 3 times, the second time being to my Grandfather. Then 40 years later, she had a brief marriage to his identical twin brother, my Great Uncle!!  Can you say ewww, creepy????

She was obsessed with visiting cemeteries where her loved ones were buried.  At age 5, Grandma and I went on an adventure alone to the cemetery.  Before we went, she stopped at Roy Rogers and got me a hamburger and fries so I was a happy camper.  By the time we got to the cemetery, it was late afternoon.  I had no idea what time cemeteries closed at that age and Grandma certainly wasn’t deterred by the late hour.

She took me all over to 3 different gravestones and told me stories about my ancestors.  It was actually pretty interesting and before we knew it, it was dark out.  Well I know now that most cemeteries close pretty early, and it was definitely past closing time.  So we were locked in and our car was outside the gates.

Grandma looked around and then found an exit with a cement wall rather than those black ominous looking spikes that were everywhere else.  I remember getting scared and that I started to cry.  She said don’t cry Emma you can jump it.  C’mon, I will help you!  And that’s exactly what she did lol. She helped me get over the fence and then she did the same.  I was so proud of my accomplishment and excited by our adventure that I failed to notice my Mom’s abject horror at the thought of her little girl scaling over a cemetery wall.  After a few other misadventures with Grandma, I noticed we pretty much stopped going places with her alone for a number of years lol.

She moved down to Florida after my Holy Communion in the 80’s and she never set foot back in New York again until she got Alzheimer’s at age 83 and we brought her up to live with us for the last 2 years of her life. Grandma might have had a stroke and couldn’t remember where she was but she NEVER lost her spirit. One night following dinner, shortly after she arrived, she said, “This is great! I have everything I need. Except I need a man.”  My Mom had gone up to change her clothes, so it was just my Dad and I at the table with her. My Dad spit out his coffee he was laughing so hard and I just said, “Grandma, you were married 3 times! I think you’ve had enough men lol”. She said, “I was? Wow, that’s a lot huh?”

Then there was the Sunday morning I woke up to my Mom’s shrieks and ran downstairs like a bat out of hell without even thinking. Sitting in the middle of the foyer on the floor was my Grandma, completely covered head to toe in her own poop.  It was already so caked on she looked like a brown clay person. Little known fact. Poop doesn’t really smell when it’s dried like clay lol. To make matters worse, she had left a trail from one end of the very large downstairs of the house to the other! Did I mention we had white carpet in the formal dining room n living room? My Mom called my Dad who was working and he calmed her down a little.  I got my Mom a cup of coffee and asked her did she want to take the house or Grandma? One of us would have to clean the house and the other would have to clean Grandma. Since I wasn’t looking forward to either task, I thoughtfully let her choose. She said she would take the house, so upstairs I took Grandma to put her in the tub. It took over an hour and a half to get her totally clean and the whole time she just kept saying over and over, “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!” which I found pretty hysterical because come on! LOL So as I was toweling her off and putting a new set of clothes on her, she said “You’re a good girl, I want you to have the house.” I said this house (knowing my parents in fact owned it and always had)? She said yes. I said thanks and we all got a chuckle out of it when I told the rest of the family. Well about a week later I was stopping Grandma from throwing chicken bones out on the front lawn when she said, I don’t like you, get away from me! My Mom, the original smart ass (see I come by it honestly), turned to me and said, “Oh well, guess you’re not getting the house!” LOL!!!!

It was difficult taking care of her at the end, even with all of us pitching in. But I’m so glad that we did. In her lucid moments, I really got to know her more than I ever had before. And I treasure those memories, good and bad. When my Mom got sick, we had already worked as a team, my Dad, Mom and I, all those years ago. It made it much easier to work together again to help get her well and then at the end to keep her comfortable. I know many things happen for a reason and I’m glad my Mom couldn’t just put her Mom in a home. She showed me that even things that seem way too difficult can be good for us and that we should always take care of the people we love.

51 thoughts on “My Grandma

  1. XandrewX says:

    Your saying “Grandma, you were married 3 times! I think you’ve had enough men” still make me smile and reminds me of a family Christmas. Eight of us were seated in the living room watching some late evening variety program (2 Grandma’s 2 Grandpa’s Mum Dad me and brother Mark) Then at one point someone on the telly said “………. sex is overrated” and my father’s mother said out loud “I agree” well I looked across at her, NO ONE else reacted and all I remember was my mother grinning like a Cheshire cat! But here’s what often crosses my mind, in all my years I have never heard a member of the family ever refer to anything sexual, sex is or never has been talked about, why? Who knows? All I do know is I’ll never forget Grandma (straight face) saying that and I can picture visualise my mum’s smile till this day…… one else spoke a word or looked but all heard.

    Liked by 1 person

          • learning to live like water says:

            We’ve talked a lot. A whole lot. He came up and stayed with me the day after my mom died, which was nice of him really. No pressure no problems. She passed on a Friday night, he spent sat afternoon. We are close friends at this point. I may see him today. I put up a couple posts on my private blog. I am guarded.

            Liked by 1 person

              • learning to live like water says:

                The night he really laid it out I told him that I pretty much knew the truth from his ex gf’s email. (We exchanged a few emails last week) And that if I heard a lie then the conversation was over. But there were no inconsistencies. And he actually filled in blanks that she had left. I still care for him but there is no trust, or very little now. I’m very clear on the situation but I enjoy his company. So I’m not thinking past that, not about a relationship or a future or any of that. Just letting him spill his guts, getting clarity, and letting it be.

                Liked by 1 person

              • learning to live like water says:

                Hmmm i typed a reply but don’t see it. His ex-gf and I exchanged a few emails last weekend. When he began to open up I told him that I had a pretty clear view of what had gone on and if I heard a lie, inconsistent with what she told me then the convo would be over. But there were none. In fact he filled the blanks she had left. He’s owning completely what he did.

                Our dynamic has changed. I’m just letting it be. He’s not relationship material at the moment but I am pleased that he has answered so many of the questions I’ve had in an honest way about what happened to me last summer. I let go of the pain and anger a longtime ago. And now I am gaining understanding.

                Liked by 1 person

                  • learning to live like water says:

                    Well so far. I’m not judging or getting upset in any way. Even tho it’s hard to hear. I’m just listening and it seems he’s free to talk as long as in not losing it. He owned what he did to me and I can feel his regret and remorse. He would like to tell her too but she’s got him completely blocked. I know he doesn’t know what he wants, neither do I. But I like him… We’re good friends. We’ll see if it’s possible to rebuild trust or if we want anything to develop but it’s a different dynamic now.

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura (I Can Do It) says:

    Not only are those great memories, they built your foundation in knowing to take care of family. That’s how it works you saw your mom care for her, you cared for your mom, now one day if needed you’ll be cared for. Excellent story, I enjoyed it completely.

    Liked by 1 person

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