Phew! Sorry for the major downer post last time! I admit wine was involved, but mostly I was just feeling really sad for my poor hubby. He’s been doing pretty well, despite the occasional innocent insensitivity from one of the kids. Dagny: “Daddy, Mica a cat-killer!” or, “Dat Pounce?” (Pointing to a different cat). Cozy’s are more sophisticated: (Sighs) “I miss Pounce. Does it hurt to die?” Each question brings a tear to his eye, but overall he is healing.
Two days after Pounce’s untimely demise a rowdy storm blew into our area. After a tornado came through 10 miles from our house three years ago and destroyed entire neighborhoods and the front half of a local high school, I’ve been less than a fan of storms anymore. Consequently, I pleaded with friends on Facebook to call or text me if the sirens went off, because we cannot hear them out in the country. I also downloaded two different apps that would alert me as well. (Oh, and my phone has a built-in storm alert…overkill? Maybe. Ironically, my basement is NOT stocked with emergency items or even somewhere to sit while praying for our lives. I’m a conundrum.) Anyway, my phone was going off in some capacity the entire night: alarms, texts, Facebook notifications, actual phone calls (remember those?). The girls and I snuggled with blankets and bean bags next to the wolf spiders in the basement while Ty snoozed in our big comfy bed on the top floor of our house, far too unconcerned with staying alive for my taste. We lost power for several hours, which was fine in the cool basement but rather steamy when we stumbled back upstairs to crawl back into bed once the coast was clear. I wasn’t in bed more than 10 minutes before I got another text. Heart pounding, I went back into survival mode but after reading the text my heartbeat changed to a different pattern. The text was from my Mom, “Grandma just passed away. Dad is heading over there.”
My Dad and Grandma at our annual St. Paddy’s Day party last year.
That was a rough week! While Grandma was 90 years old and we all knew she would be dying soon as she was fairly ill and had received the Last Sacrament, you never can truly prepare your heart for the inevitable, right? Well, I had a big giant post about our cat, so let me share just a few memories of my Grandma…different tone though. Grandma lived a wonderful life, and while we will all miss her, she is with her Father, her husband, and her oldest daughter. She’s happy.
My father’s mother was born in 1923, and probably like everyone else raised during the Great Depression never could quite break any extreme frugal habits. She married Grandpa and they tried for five years to have a baby, and finally ended up adopting a baby girl. As is often the case, she became pregnant…seven more times. My Dad was right in the middle, the second boy of three, with five sisters. Together, they raised their eight children in a tiny 3-bedroom house that is still in the family. Grandpa died before I was born, less than 60 years old. Grandma never remarried, and never did tell me why. I think maybe she figured no one could ever hold a candle to her Edward.
I was in the middle of her 30 grandchildren (15 great-grandchildren!), but she never failed to buy me new underwear for Christmas each year of my childhood and she always made me a homemade peach pie on my birthday, bringing some summer to the dead of winter, which, to this day, is still my favorite kind of pie.
Truthfully, Grandma scared the bajeebers out of me as a child. She was a staunch Roman Catholic who raised 8 children and even several grandkids…this was not a woman who took any crap from any kids.
Wearing glow-sticks as earrings at a Christmas In July party Ty and threw many years ago. She had a good sense of humor!
Plus she HATED my cat, Rikki, who was the love of my life as a child. Once, Grandma was babysitting us while my parents were off doing whatever it was that parents do without their children (I’m pretty sure mine just held hands and missed us…) and she was putting me to bed and Rikki jumped up right next to Grandma’s head. Grandma sat up, let out a screech loud enough to wake the dead and Rikki shot out of that room in a bright orange blur. My brother and I laughed about that for days.
I gained a new appreciation for Grandma the older I got, as children do. As time went on and I got married myself, and had some of my own children, my fear morphed into admiration. I loved talked to her at family parties or playing Scrabble with her when we’d hang out. She was a fountain of family history and amazing recipes. We shared an unabashed appreciation for food and while I usually never could get a word in edgewise, I liked hearing about her favorite recipes.
I think the thing I most admired about my Grandma though, was how close her children all still are. Several times a year my Dad’s side of the family gets together for big Irish parties and all the siblings come as well as most of the grandkids. It’s always such fun, and beyond the parties they are really there for each other. Grandma definitely left a legacy to be admired, and she will be greatly missed.
She cheated at Scrabble, though.
Four Generations, Christmas 2012
Stick with me, folks. I have so many recipes coming at you! Hummus, lemon basil pesto, canning peaches (and making them into pies in honor of my Grandma!), vegetable soup, miracle pasta… it’s all coming soon! And no more sadness if I can help it!