ETA – Today is also the birthday of a woman who happens to share a name with my grandmother as well.
Today’s one of those days in my family’s history… I bet some of you have them too. My father’s mother was born on this date a long, LONG time ago, and died on this date over 30 years ago. My parents were both married and physically separated on this date, with 17 years in between. My grandmother’s last husband also died on this date, a few years after her death.
I don’t have but one photo of my paternal grandmother, and it is under a thick glass, in a weird frame where the photo is mounted in such a fashion that the photo is damaged if you attempt to removed said photo. So, you don’t get to see her. I can’t even tell you much about her, because she died when I was very young, but nonetheless, she still made quite an impression on my life. She was a force to be reckoned with, and I am sure a lot of my need to lead and inability to be a compliant follower comes from her. (Did I just admit that?!)
I grew up hearing, “Remember who you are and what you represent.” I’m proud of my heritage, on both sides, no matter how vastly different my own parents’ backgrounds are. Both of my grandmothers were truly matriarchs, strong, Christian women, who held their families together through The Great Depression and on into this new century, in the case of my maternal grandmother. Both women buried their husbands rather early (by my standards) in their lives. Both were OLD, when compared to my friends’ grands. Still, I have fond memories of Nannie teaching me to play Go Fish, Crazy Eights, about a dozen forms of solitaire (oh, how I wish she’d been just young enough to get into computers and the THOUSANDS of versions of solitaire at our fingertips now!), and nearly every other card game I know. Sadly, my father’s mother already was battling colon cancer when I was old enough to play, so I have a hazy memory of rubbing lotion on her back in the hospital, and a similar memory once the early version of Hospice brought her home to live out her last few days in familiar surroundings.
That’s a nice segue into my aunt’s surgery. September 4th, they’ll operate to remove her tumor. She is still insisting she will not undergo chemotherapy though. (And yes, she’s the daughter of the grandmother who died from colon cancer. I get checked next year, thank you, but I’ve been on a high fiber diet for years…)
I also want to thank you, all of you, for the continued sympathies and support. Mugsy and I were nearly constant companions for 12 years and nine months, which is longer than anyone else has put up with me day in and day out. (The Knight’s now gaining ground, and should eclipse Mugsy’s record next year. He did indeed gift that incredible four-legged bundle of love to me, but as Mugsy reminded him almost nightly, HE lived with me before the Knight did!)