It’s been over 20 years since my grandmother, lovingly called Grandmama, passed away. There are lots of things I remember about her, just like it was yesterday.
She always smelled like Dove soap (the original scent).
She had a wonderful laugh. It was quiet but her whole face lit up when she laughed.
Her house was always spotless. Not just clean; there was never a single speck of dirt anywhere and nothing was ever out of its place.
She fed me bologna on white bread with a slice of American cheese and mayonnaise every time I came over. I craved that sandwich with one of my pregnancies. I just swapped the bologna with turkey.
She loved General Hospital. I was glad I had watched it with her and knew the general storyline and characters because when I went to college, I had to watch it for my roommate and report back what happened (you know, because DVRs weren’t invented back in the olden days).
She was tiny. She was short and probably weighed 85 pounds soaking wet. Her nickname was Midge (I know, not politically correct). I was probably about eight when I finally found out her real name.
She worked at the famous Loveless Cafe as a waitress for my entire childhood. (I’ve never even eaten there.)
She had 5 sons and 2 daughters. I can only imagine how hard life must have been sometimes. She was kind but tough and you could tell that that’s how she had to be.
She once caught a tree frog for me just because I wanted it, but was too scared to catch it myself. The funniest part of all is that she was scared too. When she caught it, she screamed like a 5-year-old.
My favorite story she told me about her childhood in rural Kentucky was one in which she was being bullied by another girl. The girl was chasing her and my grandmother spotted a line that was half down (I’m guessing a fallen clothes line) and she stopped , got out of sight, and picked it up and held in such a way that the girl didn’t notice. The girl tried to keep running after my grandmother, but she got caught by the line and thrown to the ground.
Her eyes always watered and she always had a handkerchief in her pocket. I carried one of hers in my bouquet at my wedding.
She held on to this side of life until every single one of her children got to the hospital to say good-bye. I had the privilege of getting to say good-bye as well.
When we were driving from the funeral home to the cemetery, we had to ride part of the way on the interstate. There was roadwork going on (is there ever NOT roadwork going on). As the funeral procession passed, all of the workers stopped their work and took off their hard hats as we went by. It was so touching and sweet and I hope to never forget it!
I wish she had been able to see me get married. I think she would have just loved my husband.
I wish she could have seen me graduate from college. I was the first of her granddaughters to accomplish that.
I wish she could have met my children. I’m awfully proud of them and I know she would have enjoyed them so much.
I wish I had known her in adulthood so I could have been able to get her advice and hear her stories about raising her children.
I was blessed to have had such a sweet woman as my Grandmama. Even all these years later, I still miss her.