Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Grammy was the Best!

She's been gone since the summer of 1993 - a very long 16 years but I was telling my friend VBC a story about her and her dogs today and it made me think of her. So I wanted to share a little bit about my feisty Irish grandma!

I called her Grammy - there were 19 of us grandchildren and we all called her that. She and my Grampy lived in a single wide trailer in a local trailer park when I was a kid - they sold their house to my mom and dad in 1969 and moved to the trailer park for their retirement years.

My grandmother continued to work for another decade or so as the cafeteria lady at the local hospital. Everyone there knew and loved her. Her name was Beulah but everyone called her Boots. I don't know the story behind the nickname Boots and always wished I did. One of my shocks as a kid was finding a picture of my Grammy in her 20's with a baby on her hip and a cig dangling from her lips! LOL

Grammy had a string of little black chihuahua's one right after the other and they all had the same name - Bimbo! I was probably 13 before I knew that was a humorous name for a dog and what it really meant. Those little dogs hated kids - so it's a good thing there were 19 of us! LOL

Grammy was a great baker - she had so many great recipes for cookies and cakes and treats. We would go visit her once a week on either Friday or Saturday night and she usually had fresh baked goodies. But sometimes she'd pull out a package of Archway cookies and tell us "Grampy baked this week" because she didn't have time and he ran up to the grocery store for cookies for the Sat night visits.

When my family was in a crisis and I wasn't sure my parents would survive together I was afraid a lot. I had a recurring dream that I was being chased by a huge angry gorilla and it was trying to hit me with a cast iron griddle. I know this doesn't sound super scary but when you're only 8 or 9 it's traumatic (enough that I remember it 30 years later?) and in my dream I was always trying to get to Grammy's house, I knew if I could just get there she'd save me. She was my happy place in those dark days. Thankfully my parens survived and even thrived but that's another story for another day.

While I was in college I brought a group of friends home one weekend and we were all gathered around watching Dirty Dancing and my Grammy stopped by for a visit and she watched with us girls. Now her kids were teens in the 50's and 60's so she wasn't exactly in tune but my friends all loved her for trying when she announced "That Patrick Swazye is DREAMY!" LOL

I think I was still in college when she brought a cake to my mom and dad's for dinner one night and pronounced it "Better than Sex" Chocolate Cake and then muttered under her breath "it wouldn't take much..." and I nearly choked on the laughs I couldn't stop from coming. Sad though that apparently for her sex could be replaced with a chocolate cake even if it wasn't the best ever.

And while she was in the hospital in her final days and getting more and more morphine for the pain, a bunch of my cousins and I all showed up to visit her on a rainy summer afternoon. We had all been there off and on for days visiting whenever we could, but this day we were all together and my sweet Grammy said "it must be cold out today, all you girls are wearing shirts!" We all laughed and took turns hugging her and Grammy and her girls shared a last good laugh. She died later that week and left a hole in all our lives that can never really be filled.


verybadcat said...

She sounds like a hell of a lady.... that must be where you get it from. :)

Tricia said...

She was the glue that held her family together. When she died my grandfather withered away - it took him 7 long years to do it but he was miserable without her. Since her passing the whole family has not been together since her funeral. She raised a family of stubborn hot headed people and without her to hold them all together there is always a feud or two going on and at any given time only 2-3 of her 6 children are on speaking terms with the others. It's sad but a tribute to her strength.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I envy you. I missed have a grammy because they both died when I was very young.

Jonny's Mommy said...

Sounds like an amazing and great lady. What a loss....she reminds me of my grandmother, who wasn't quite as colorful in her language, but was still fiesty as anything!

remember moments said...

My grandma has been gone since 12.09.94, almost 15 years. A lot of things you wrote were similar to feelings I had for my grandma. I loved going to her house, watching TV with her, just being there was magical. I miss her everyday.