Thursday, May 13, 2010

My grandma.

(I was the person that eulogized my grandmother when she passed, and it was the first time I wrote something so close to my heart. The 18th of May will be four years since she died, and I'm still not over it sometimes.)

My grandma was awesome. I hope that everyone in this room had a chance to meet her and know what a great person she was. She was the kind of grandma that you imagine in a movie: sweet, kind-natured, soft voiced, and would spoil you rotten. She even had a little plaque in the house that said, “If mother says no, ask grandmother”. Growing up, my brother, my sister and I lived with my grandparents during different points in our lives. They raised us like we were their own, and my grandma would call us girls “sister” and my brother “son”. When my mom was a single mom working as a waitress, we would all stay the night at Grandma and Pop’s. The routine was always about the same: Pop would watch his shows until he went to bed pretty darn early, grandma would crochet and watch her shows later in the evening, and us kids would hang out in the living room or go in the other room and play Nintendo. By the way, grandma used to sneak in Nintendo when we weren’t around-or when she thought we weren’t watching. It was just about the funniest thing ever-watching her play Super Mario Bros. She had to move her whole body in order to play! She had a sweet tooth, too. She made Kool-Aid so sweet and sugary that my mom wouldn’t even let us drink it most of the time! And she was such a worrywart, always worrying about everyone. I used to stay at my dad’s house, which was just a block away, and when I got bored I would call them up and ask if I could walk over, and of course they always said yes. I would walk up the little path to her house and by the time the house came into view, there was grandma, standing on the front porch, making sure I was okay. The mailbox was across the street from the house, and when I would offer to go get it for her, she would have to watch me out the window and make sure I looked both ways. I know what you are all thinking, “that’s normal, keeping an eye out for a little girl”, but I was 23!

As my siblings and I grew into adults, she and Pop were still there as much as ever. If you were ever in a jam, they saved the day. If you were in the hospital, they were in the waiting room. If you locked yourself out of your house or your car, there they were to open it with their spare. My sister used to be a preschool teacher, and during the Christmas programs, they would be in the audience. When my brother would play baseball, my grandma would be there, standing and shouting, “Go Bubba!!!” when his friends were probably saying, “who the heck is Bubba??”. Speaking of friends, my grandma knew the names of all of your friends and would ask how they were doing and genuinely cared about their well-being. Most of our friends knew grandma, too. She became a great-grandma when my son was born, then soon after with my brother's boys. She really enjoyed her boys; she would crack up when they would dance to “shake shake shake your booty” and they would turn on the dancing cowboy she had and dance together to “Achy Breaky Heart.” My grandma had the best laugh, ever. Her laugh was so booming and boisterous that when she laughed, you knew it had to be funny and it made you laugh too.

Some things that you all should know about my grandma: She loved poker. When it would be her turn to choose a game to play, she almost always chose “Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”. She liked watching poker, too, and watching golf. She used to religiously play bingo! She loved to fish as well on the many trips Pop and her would take to Lake Skinner, Pismo Beach; or later on in Bishop, Lake Tahoe and Big Bear with my mom and stepdad. She never cleaned anything, she “warshed” it.

The one thing, though, that I think I will miss the most is when you would visit, when you pulled up she would be out her front door, ready to help you with whatever it was you had with you. When you left her house, she would always, without missing a beat, say “Don’t forget to call me when you get home!” and she meant it! If you were supposed to be home at 4:00, and you didn’t call her, you better believe that at 4:01, on the button, your phone would ring and you’d go, “Aw! I forgot to call her!”. And if you got stuck in traffic, there would be that message on your answering machine: “Hi, this is your grandma. Give me a call. Bye”, like we didn't know who it was!

I know she wouldn’t want us “to fuss”, as she would say it. My grandma was my hero. She made me want to strive to be a better person. I sincerely hope that she was proud of me, as I am with her that she helped instill the values that I carry with me in my life. Our whole family would be different people if my grandma was not a part of our lives, and we should all cherish that and be blessed that we knew her.

D.M.R May 14, 1932-May 18, 2006

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