I’m really not trying to depress you folks, but I felt compelled to mention that today marks five years since my Grandmother’s passing.
Grandmammy, as she elected to be called after Eric (my youngest) was born, was a cool lady.
She had a great sense of humor. She and I shared many laughs over the years.
My favorite story about her, which makes me smile every time I think about it, happened around 1990. She would have been 77 at the time, assuming I have my year exactly right.
She and I had many road trips together. We were on the way home from my brother’s house in Chesapeake, Virginia, cruising up I-95 in my little red Ford Escort. We were motoring along pretty good. I was in the left lane, attempting to pass a tractor-trailer, when he pulled in front of me.
I hit the brakes and said, “He cut me off!”
No biggie. It wasn’t that close and I wasn’t hugely po’ed or anything. But once he moved over and I was in the process of passing him, I elbowed Grandma (as I called her) gently and said, “Give him the finger.”
I was totally joking.
But, as we passed the cab of the truck, something on Grandma’s side of the car caught my eye. I glanced over and saw her giving the guy the finger. She was hunched over a bit, as if trying to do it on the sly, giggling the whole time. I was hysterical. Really. Almost peed my pants.
I could only imagine the trucker looking down as we rode by, seeing this little old lady flipping him the bird.
Grandma’s mind was sharp as a tack, but her body was failing her. She had a hip replacement in the late 80s, which helped, but as she got older, it became harder and harder for her to get around.
I love all of those pictures, which I took on a day trip the three of us had taken to Brookside Gardens on the outskirts of Washington, DC.
Here’s a shot captured on Christmas, 2006.
Times does move on, but I think of her often. Along with my Mom. And Aunt Susan, Mom’s oldest sister, who succumbed to cancer in July 2011.
Aunt Kathy, yes, I was named after her, is the only sister left.
And there I am with Grandma on Christmas, 2007. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that that Christmas would be her last.
I still miss her, of course. But am lucky to have many, many fond memories of the times we shared. Memories that, more often than not, make me laugh.
If your Grandma is still living, and close by, give her a hug for me today, okay? We were lucky to have her with us as long as we did.