My parents did something brilliant when I as younger. They had our family move into a house with my grandparents. I thankfully, was right around the perfect age (other than my age right now which I will get to). I was old enough to form lasting memories and young enough to actually want to spend time with my grandparents. By the time we all moved in together (although I knew they truly loved each other) they had declared war with each other. I actually realized not too long ago that although there were a few more reasons, one of the reasons I am so even keel and ying to peoples yang and refuse to fight…. is because I watched them. I adored my grandfather even if I was a bit perplexed and scared (in a respect way) of him. He said things I did not understand but I knew he adored me. He would pretend he forgot my name and would call me Magilikati and I would through little temper tantrums that he could not remember “Jenny”. Now I know it was his humor (because my dad is the EXACT same way). He once came in the door with a chocolate bar and said he had bought it for me but realized I did not like chocolate so he would have to eat it. I teared up and my grandmother said “Ralph, please stop teasing the child”. As I got older I realized he always had a twinkle in his eye when he was teasing and I would always look for it. I remember one year he made “egg bread” and kept insisting I dig into it…. I realized somehow he had actually baked it with a chocolate egg in the middle…. he was forever my hero after that. My dad challenged my sister and I once to one hour of tv a day for a year. My grandfather (twinkle twinkle) told me that if I closed my eyes during the commercials it did not count towards the time. I also remember now that we always seemed to get four shows into that hour… NOW I realize he was just so happy that we were sitting with him, he probably allowed us to watch a solid two hours of tv. (Off subject does anyone else remember “RIP Tide”? That was a great show). It was only decades after his death that my uncle was reading a book and realized my grandfather was a subject in the book!!! MY grandfather had climbed on his submarine IN the ocean and fixed something…. Which makes me wonder why my father and I both open up boxes backwards and upside down.
It was this morning smiling thinking of my grandfather trying to trick ME into thinking I was tricking my DAD just to spend more time with me…. that I started thinking of my grandmother. My grandmother lived well past my grandfather. She went from sad to hostile after his death. I could go on and on with stories about her but this morning I started thinking… “who was her best friend?”. “Was she sad when she moved out of her home she had lived in all her married life to NH with us?” “Did she mourn grandfather when he died?” “What did she love to do?” “How did her sisters death at such a young age effect her?” “What was she great at/what did she hate to do?”
I loved my grandmother and I lived with her for close to a decade but I know more about my mom’s best friend when I was 16 than my grandmother. I know she was beautiful. I know she lost her sister at a very young age. I know she was angry and confused in her last many years. I know she loved to smoke and I know she always had Hermits and Andy’s Candies. I know she wore the same necklace all the time I knew her and I wonder where it is now. I also knew that when she was tired, hungry, fell or had to go the bathroom she would scream for my Uncle Ronnie. I also know when she was tired, hungry, fell or had to go the bathroom it was my dad that came running. That made me angry at her, probably too angry. I was just protecting my dad, but I am sad I was so mad at my grandmother in her final years… and I wonder who her best friend was………
Lastly, I wonder when I pass if anyone will remember who my best friends were? Will anyone know how much I loved my sister? Which leads to a WHOLE other story about having kids but that is for another day….