Grandma…I Miss You

My childhood wasn’t all that great.  For some reason I never understood at the time, I was never close to my parents. They weren’t mean, just not loving. I really don’t remember being tucked in and kissed at night and those type of things. I found out much later some things ; I was born two months after they married and when I was 18 months old, I lived in another state with my Dad’s parents for about a year.   I do remember living with them again at about 9 years of age for about 6 months.  They were more like babysitters than grandparents.

The one constant in my life was my grandma( my mom’s mother). From as far back as I can remember (4-5 years old) we were very close. I can remember a gold heart shaped ring she bought me at 5 and going to see Lady & the Tramp. She was Italian and full of life. We were always laughing. I can remember if I called her “hey” instead of by her name she would tell me horses eat hay. I can remember her singing “You are My Sunshine “to me whenever I was with her. We always kissed both cheeks.

She was divorced which wasn’t accepted as it is today so I suspect that caused her some heartache. She never remarried. I think she may have never gotten over my grandfather. She liked men but never found “the one”. We use to joke about her lack of sex life. Yes, this was my grandmother

We moved to another state when I was 7 and I only saw her once or twice a year for a period of time. We wrote long letters to each other on a weekly basis and when I was older I would spend part of my summers with her. I remember she was very active in the Women’s Auxiliary. We would go to dinners, make cookies for Christmas and visit orphanages to take gifts. My teen years were turbulent with my father but she was always there to hear my sob stories.

When I married, my Dad would not give me away, so I didn’t have a church wedding, but she was there for me. It was the only time I ever heard her rip my Dad up one side and down the other. Once married, we moved to Louisville and she made trips down here and we visited there (Chicago) often. She was there my son’s first Christmas and almost every Christmas after that. She took some trips with us and we always had a good time.

When she retired, she moved here to be close to us. My son also grew very close to her. He would hang out with her in the summer at the “seniors” apartment and he was the apple of all their eyes. She spoiled him with love just as she did me. We had a good 9 years with her here.

When I divorced, she cried with me. When I took my current husband to meet her for the first time, she flirted with him shamelessly.  She really liked him and was so happy for me but unfortunately she passed soon after.

I still vividly remember the day she died. I felt like a part of me went with her.

When I had Grandchildren I vowed we would have that same relationship. That has not happened. Probably at the end of my life it will be my biggest regret. It’s not from the lack of trying, especially with the first two. I think blended families make it harder and kids are just too busy today to worry about Grandma. I do believe they are missing a big piece of unconditional love and that’s a shame.

I still miss my grandmother so much. She does come to me to let me know she’s ok and to comfort me when I’m sad. I have no doubt when she makes her presence known. One day we will be together again. I will be ready for her to sing to me and to kiss my cheeks.

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