You see, she passed away today, February 17, 2010. And already she’s left a void that will never be filled. Her 90-year life was full to the brim, so while the pain is still fresh, and numbness lingers on, I wanted to tap some words down and let the world know what they missed in not knowing her.
She had a way with words, using great little faded phrases like “…for the birds” and “…bright as a dollar.” You missed out on her amazing lemon meringue pie and the scent of lavendar in her linen closet. Her home always smelled like a cross between a bakery and an English garden. My grandma was a wizard in the kitchen and an avid collector/tester of recipes. You would never leave her table hungry and every meal, she prepared with love and creativity.
Grandma loved her sports, especially football and basketball. She’d be enjoying the Winter Olympics at this very moment if she was still here. It was fun to hear her rant about how the Laker’s looked a little sloppy the night before or how shameful it was that the Rams moved away from California. She’d tell you it was better when they played at the Coliseum; it was more like a real football game environment. When she was a teen, she was a bit of a tomboy and even played baseball.
Quite the gardener, she’d show you her prized Chrysler Imperial rose bush or take you to the spot along the garage wall where she’d string twine and plant her Sweet Peas in the winter so they’d bloom heavy in the spring. Under the window in the dining room, she had a hardy gardenia plant that would share an amazing number of flowers, each boasting an intoxicating fragrance. In her backyard, she had some of the most prolific Meyer lemon and tangelo trees. Watching her smell their rinds, you could only imagine what she’d decide to prepare with them.
No life is complete without some tough times and she witnessed some hardships. She lived through the depression and WW2 and many other conflicts, but not once would you hear her complain or gripe about times ever being hard. She beat cancer nearly 20 years ago. She outlived both her siblings and both of her husbands.
She liked musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof and enjoyed country swooner Marty Robbins. Ever hear of Bobby Goldsboro? A song called Honey would make her a little weepy, but if you asked her about Sweet City Woman, you’d get a chuckle from her. Yes, my Grandma had a great sense of humor and a quick wit.
She did so much. She comforted, encouraged, supported, loved, laughed, doted, cried, spoiled, kissed, hugged, scolded, reminded, giggled, remembered, and worried. She was a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, friend, wife, sister-in-law, grandmother, aunt, great-aunt, mother-in-law, and great-grandmother.
She was my Grandma. I’m blessed for having her in my life so long. My world is richer and my heart more full because she was in it. You should have known her. She was quite remarkable.