Monday, February 8, 2010

I love me a big piece of cake

Grandma. She was somethin’ else. She was crafty. She was funny, even though she didn’t mean to be. She lived close to us my whole life, so we spent a lot of time with her. I guess I don’t really remember if she always said this, but later in life she’d start a lot of conversations with, “Say, wouldn’t it be fun if we (fill in the blank).” And she was usually right—whatever she had thought of was fun…

She hosted countless slumber parties at her house. She would even stay up to make “midnight snacks.” She liked to shop. She liked to attend whatever we were involved in. You could always count on her to want to go out…shopping…to eat…to do whatever. She was a party girl—but I mean that in the most lady-like way. She always had her hair styled, she always wore dresses and stockings. (She literally never wore a pair of pants.) She always carried her ‘pocketbook’ and she had a trace of a southern accent. She was every inch a lady, but she was always ready for a party. I think I got my sweet tooth from her--she was always game for whipping up some tasty treat. I didn’t know the lady that Gigi describes as being stern and strict. She was my Grandma—and she was somethin’ else.

My Grandma never spanked me. I can’t even really remember a time when she got upset with me. What I remember most is her laugh and the complete delight on her face when she’d open the door to see us standing there for a visit.

One time Gigi left the Editor and me at Grandma’s for the day. I was craving something sweet and I knew if I asked she would make something. That particular day she made a cake. And she let me eat some. She let me eat a lot, actually. When Gigi came to pick me up Grandma told her, “That little thing (I was super skinny when I was little) ate a whole cake!” and Gigi’s question was, “But why did you let her?”

My birthday was last week and my MIL brought over a cake. Not knowing that she was going to bring a cake I also made one for myself. So with two cakes in the house what’s a girl to do? Well, for starters I offered a piece to every living soul who walked through our front door. I took some to the office to share. And then my only other option—in the spirit of not being wasteful—was to cut off a sliver every time I walked through the kitchen. And even though I tried to share as much as possible, I do feel like I practically ate the whole thing.

I’d love to have Grandma back—to share a piece of cake with her…to see the look of delight on her face when she saw me…to hear her laugh. She had Alzheimer’s and Gigi took care of her, bless her heart, before she passed away. Lots of family didn’t want to visit because they said it just wasn’t her anymore. Gigi didn’t have that option. She patiently and lovingly took care of Grandma better than anyone else could. And although I was busy I tried to visit as much as I could because it WAS Grandma, just most of the time she couldn’t remember us, couldn’t access her memories to recognize her life. One day I went to visit and when I walked in her face lit up and she got that look of delight she always got and said, “Well, if it isn’t BusyBody! Say, wouldn’t it be fun if we visited awhile?” Yeah, wouldn’t it?

I miss Grandma. She was somethin’ else.

Posted by The Editor for Busy Body.

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