My dear Grandmother passed away on Thanksgiving day. She was 93 years old. I have thought about writing this post almost every day since, but I haven't been ready till now. My Grandmother was responsible for many things in my life and I am very grateful for the life lessons that she taught me not only through word but also through example. I'm going to share some of my memories on here to express my love for her.
When I was little my parents would send me for the occasional visit during the summer. I loved going to her house. We didn't have central air, so it was nice in the Texas heat to want to burrow under the covers, although she had these two clown pictures hanging up in the guest bedroom that totally creeped me out, so needless to say it wasn't just comfort that had me loving those visits. I know this will sound weird, but she taught me how to properly make my bed and how to maintain a house through scheduling. My personality loved these things. Scheduling dusting! Who knew!? There was also the coveted shopping trips to the mall. I love shopping and I loved hearing about Grandmother's experiences of working at Foleys and J.C. Pennys. In fact when I started working for Foleys during my divorce and worked my way up through the ranks to an area sales manager, providing for myself and my kids and even obtaining a house and a car through my own credit and hard work, I felt nobody's pride more than my Grandmother's. I remember her making a point to tell me how proud she was of me pulling my life together. And because she knew the rigors of what I was doing; I knew she understood just how hard I had had to work to get there. Back to shopping :) My Grandmother would always buy me one thing while out shopping. I remember one time the visit was during Christmas break and she bought me this beautiful spiderweb ornament with a spider on it that glittered in gold. It was my favorite ornament to put on the tree because I picked it out and it was from our shared experience. Another time, when I was 13, my Dad had told me that when I turned 13 it would be my choice as to whether or not I got my ears pierced because he didn't believe I should. I didn't see any reason not too, as it meant not getting headaches when I pinched my ears with clips. Well apparently I missunderstood because I got my Grandmother in trouble. But I asked her if she would take me to get my ears pierced. She not only did that, but made it memorable by taking me out to eat at Neiman Marcus and then over to get my ears done. On the way back through, Macy's, I lost my lunch due to nerves. Poor Grandmother! However, it was a memorable event, lol. Grandmother also had a way of giving such wonderful gifts. Two of my favorites were first, the birthday party she planned for me with a crown and pink girly cake. I had told her how I hated Halloween and always getting stupid halloween birthday cards. She listened and made a special trip out to our family farm to have a girly party for me, although she did slip up and embarass me by buying me panties as a present, if I remember right, lol, but the pink Happy Birthday Crown way out weighed the other. The second was a plaid tafetta Christmas dress from Foleys buried underneath the mounds of tissue in a perfectly wrapped box with a beautiful bow. All that time in retail had taught Grandmother that wrapping could be just as important as the gift. And she was right. I loved that she took the time to teach me a thing or two about that as well.
My Aunt said that her passing on Thanksgiving was appropriate and I told her that I totally agreed. It will make celebrating Thanksgiving every year a little more special, but also entertaining was her specialty. Our family has so many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas and 4th of July potluck dinners at Grandmother's with fine china and always two kinds of olives. The first time I hosted at my apartment she brought me a pretty little hostess gift. Grandmother was big on instilling proper manners in each of us, but even more than that, I think she was teaching us that the little things matter. Whether it is remembering someone's birthday or that special touch on a present, or dusting the furniture, all those things come around to caring, and she cared a great deal. I always loved her phone calls and her characteristic..."What you know". She loved being called Great mother instead of Great Grandmother and I think it was appropriate, because I know she was a great Mom, a great Mom-in-law, a great Grandmother, so if you totaled all the Motherly totals together she definitely came out Great and then some :)