Archive for the ‘Gushy stuff’ Category
Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of Grandma V’s passing.
I can say honestly that I’ve been dealing a bit better with it. But yesterday I was angry. I was just so pissed off all day. I didn’t cry, I just tried to ignore the world and snapped at anyone who tried to talk to me. I resented everything, hated everything.
Then today I woke up and couldn’t stop crying. Probably not my best idea to write this at my desk, but I need to. I miss her. It’s not fair that she had to live out her remaining years in a nursing home, without her favorite chair or her dog, Penny. It’s not fair that she was sick and confined to a wheelchair for so long.
It’s not fair that I didn’t give up more of my time to visit with her. A few hours on Saturdays? What the fuck was I thinking? She meant so much more than that to me, and I took her for granted. Now I regret that every single day.
If I go visit her now, I’m visiting a piece of stone that looks identical to the thousands of pieces of stone around it, just with her name on it. No indication of the vivacious women it honors. No sign of the life she lived and the joy she brought every single person who met her. Not an ounce of the warmth she emanated and shared. Just stark stone, engraved with stark text that poorly communicates how truly beloved she will always be.
You don’t look at that stone and see the beautiful cross stitching she loved to do while her eyes allowed her to. You don’t see the attitude and sass she’d give you if you smarted off. You don’t see the spark in her eye that was there until she fell asleep for the last time.
It’s an underwhelming piece of rock, that headstone. It disappoints. It’s infuriating. I hate that stone and everything it fails to represent.
But I love her.
I am lucky for the years I had with her. I am lucky for the days at her house, running around with fly swatters and wearing dish towels as capes, pretending to be She-Ra with my sister. I am lucky for what I thought were boring times that I now cherish, watching Antiques Roadshow or Bob Ross on PBS as she cross stitched in her favorite chair.
I am lucky for the nicknames she gave us, Pumpkin and Munchkin. I am lucky for the times she made hilariously inappropriate comments too loudly in public, and for the times she tormented my sister by yelling date offers out the car window as my sister drove past the cart boys at Target. I am lucky for all of the beautiful memories and happy times I shared with her and my family.
I am sad. I will always be sad. Some days will be worse than others. But I will forever be grateful that I was lucky enough to have her as my grandma, and that I’m lucky enough to be able to take solace in the wonderful family she left behind.
Love you, Grandma. Give ‘em hell.
Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of living without Grandma V. I’ve been avoiding thinking of her much lately because it still hurts so much. Or if we talk about her, I pretend like she’s not gone. But when we go visit her grave, I can’t pretend. I miss her so much, and I know my mom and family miss her like crazy, too. It’s not easy. I take solace in remembering the good times, but for some reason, right now I’m haunted by the bad ones.
I remember every second of the night she passed. I remember all the times I got mad at her. I remember the time I accidentally shut the car door on her hand and it really hurt her. I remember all the times we rushed out of the nursing home because we had other things to do. None of those “other things” were nearly as important as spending every second possible with her that we could…but I didn’t realize it then. I should have. But I didn’t, and now it’s too late. I’m so sorry for that. I can’t undo any of it, but at the moment, I can’t let it go, either.
I took her yellow roses and my mom took her a salmon-colored gardenia. These were two of her favorite flowers. I also took a bouquet to Grandma D – hers had a sunflower in it, and I remember vividly the amazing sunflowers she once had. They towered over six feet tall and looked like a bunch of suns glowing over the rest of her garden. Seeing my anniversary date staring back at me from her grave marker makes me feel guilty. I know she was upset with how I handled a few things regarding the wedding and my biodad, and although I had valid reasons for wanting what I did, I can’t help but think she died with her feelings hurt. I’m so sorry for that, too.
It’s so weird. Why am I feeling so many negative things right now? I loved them both and they loved me, but I can’t help but wonder if I showed them enough how much I cared. I don’t want to lose another person and wonder if they knew. So if I’m a little sappy with you over the next few days or weeks, just know it’s because I love you and you’re important to me. I need my family and friends to know that.
Grandma, I love you more than you could ever know and I miss you more than I ever thought possible. I think about you every day, even when it’s to tell myself I can’t think about you today because it hurts. It will always hurt, but I’m okay with that because it means I was lucky enough to have someone as wonderful as you in my life. I wish I still had you, but please know that I carry you in my heart everywhere I go.
I’ll always be your munchkin.
T and I went on a little pre-anniversary getaway last week. We weren’t sure where we were going until very early Friday morning…seriously, we booked our private cabin just before 1 AM the Friday before Labor Day. We left on Saturday to head to Sevierville, TN…stopping at every winery we could find on the way. This little journey started with us bringing 7 bottles of wine (which we already thought was a tad excessive) and ended with us buying TWENTY more bottles. Yes, twenty. Our wine racks overfloweth.
Anyway, we knew we were destined for an adorable private cabin (called An Awesome Time, so our expectations were high) in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains…we had no clue that our destination was the Branson of Tennessee. Dollywood, Dixie Stampede, all those retarded country comedy shows and at least 75 pancake places (I really don’t think that’s much of an exaggeration). All we wanted was a romantic retreat with some hiking, horseback riding and shopping in a cute little town…which Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are definitely not. However, Gatlinburg is a bigger version of what the Strip used to be in the Ozarks, so we at least got to do lots of walking (just no buying…I don’t need airbrushed t-shirts, airsoft guns or a TN license plate with my name on it, thank you very much).
However, the cabin was amazing. Serious luxury in my book. The cabin was decorated better than my entire stinkin’ house. See for yourself:
The living room, complete with our own pool table and Ms. Pacman table game system…
The kitchen and dining area:
The bedroom and our private heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub (cheesey, but so cute…we never used it because the water is so heavily treated with sulfur that it smelled awful):
The super adorable bathroom:
The cute back deck, complete with the highlight of the entire trip, our private hot tub. Can you say heaven???:
Yeah, I didn’t need to leave very much. The cabin was so wonderful. The king-sized bed was incredibly comfortable, T had plenty of stuff to stay entertained while I read and hello…we had our own freaking hot tub. And I’ll tell you something, after our hike on Monday, we were even happier to have that damn thing. Our muscles didn’t get very sore at all, thanks to Mister Tub.
But about that hike…we scoped out some trails and decided to hike to Rainbow Falls. We love waterfalls, so why not hike to one? Well, we figured that out about an hour in…the trail was marked as strenuous, so I was reallly excited. I love a challenge, I love hiking and we were in the mountains – who wants a lame, easy trail? Not me. I had NO idea what we were getting into. I wish I had pics of T and me from the beginning of the hike, but I don’t (unless you count the candid shot T took of me exiting the freaking portapotty) because T didn’t want to bother anyone at the beginning to take our picture and then I was such a sweaty mess that I didn’t want any documentation.
Yeah, no pictures of us, but I do have this super-awesome shot of a majorly creepy bug that T was enthralled with…*rolls eyes* Sheesh. Where’s the sarcasm font when you need it?
Anyway, the trail was 2.7 miles up the mountain…and they did mean UP. There was maybe 100 yards total of flat ground to cover. The surroundings could not have been any prettier, and all of these shots got us really excited for what awaited us at the top.
It took us 2 hours of nonstop climbing to reach our destination. It was a tough hike, but it was amazing exercise…which is good, because what awaited us was a bit…disappointing.
As T and I both put it to our friends, it was like seeing a guy piss off a cliff. If that was truly why we had hiked so hard for so long, we would have been upset. However, we were in it for the workout and the waterfall was just the bonus. So, you know, not a great bonus, but I definitely burned off the most delicious cheeseburger and mac n cheese that I’ve ever eaten. I’ll take that.
We stopped at the falls to have a much-needed snack. T brought peanuts. As we were heading out, a momma squirrel ran out and we decided to give her a nut. T held one out and she ran right up to him and took it from his hand. Then she proceeded to throw shell everywhere, dig out the peanut, take the skin off and eat just the nut. That’s a pretty crafty critter right there.
Here’s a video clip of her going to town on some nuts (hehe):
If you have the volume on, you can probably hear the stupid fucktard child in the background. He would NOT shut up. We passed him on the way up and made sure to leave before they started down because, well, he is a child and an extra-obnoxious one at that. At one point, T heard him yell at his dad, “Stop taking pictures of me! You already took my picture! This is ME time!” Wowza. What an asshole. But you know, it serves his parents right…he had to learn that shit from somewhere.
Anyway, we headed down the mountain at a pretty fast pace. It took us an hour to get down – half the time it took to get up. We got done just in time – as we ran to our car, the sky just opened up and it poured like crazy.
The next day, we decided to go horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (it actually is great, if you couldn’t tell from our hiking pictures). My ass hurt for days after, but it was totally worth it for this moment alone: After we paid for our ride and were waiting to be called, another couple came up to join the group. The cashier lady made the woman and the man weigh in to make sure they were within the limit. No one even mentioned a weight limit to me, much less had me jump on the scale. Do you know how nice that felt? To NOT be the heavy girl? To not be the one people looked at and felt sorry for the horse? It was pretty fantastic.
Here are all the horses waiting to be lined up:
Here’s my horse, Juliette…well, the back of her head, anyway:
And here’s T’s gorgeous horse, Buttermilk:
And here is one of the many gorgeous trail shots I got on the ride (again with the sarcasm…give me a break, I was on a damn horse!):
After the ride, we decided to drive one of the scenic mountain routes in the hopes of seeing a bear. I’m cool with seeing a bear from the car…but when our guide mentioned bears on the horseback ride, that freaked me out a little. Yeah, black bears are small, but they’re still fucking bears. Anyway, we saw one. See?
Hahahaha. Yeah, that’s a bear, but that fucker was fast. Here’s a video clip of him running by the car. I lost him for a while, but then caught him at the very end as he made his final retreat.
The stupid jerks in front of us were hogging all the good bear face time. We let them pass us so they could go faster, and then they get all the good bear action. I object. Dickwads.
We also rode one of those skylift things that takes you up the side of the mountain. Kinda creepy, but we had a nice view. Going up:
At the top:
And going back down:
Aside from that, we ate some good food (see my comment re: the best cheeseburger ever), drank lots of wine, relaxed, enjoyed being together and fell just a little bit more in love, if that’s possible. So, while Dollywood can suck it, I really think we’ll go back sometime. After all, just like our cabin’s name said, we had an awesome time. The cabins are rented through Timber Tops, so if you ever want to visit the Smokies, I highly suggest looking into renting from them.
And after all that excitement, we headed home to get our baby boy. He was so happy to see us, and he was extra clean and fluffy, too.
And seeing as I am leaving for Georgia in about 20 minutes, that’s all I have to say about that!
My grandpa died Saturday. I got home late last night from Michigan, where he lived. It’s been a hard week, and my heart is absolutely breaking for my stepdad. Jim has been a father to me since he came into my life when I was 18 months old, and although I am very saddened by the loss of our Poppy, I’m even more grief-stricken by what that loss means to him. And the brutal reality check that someday, I’ll have to bury my parents…and I just don’t know if I’ll survive that. That, and this is the third grandparent I’ve lost in the past 16 months, and I don’t know that I can maintain the positivity I’ve worked to find over the last few months. I’m really depressed and weepy.
Not that this really lessens the pain, but Poppy was 92. He lived a long, full life. And he was a stubborn old goat who was ready to go. He told Aunt Mary on Friday that he just couldn’t do it anymore, and he passed away Saturday afternoon. He was in a medically-induced coma, so he didn’t feel a thing. I am very grateful for that.
I learned a lot about him the last few days, some things new and some things just more details about what I already knew. He took over his father’s pharmacy in downtown Alma and worked there until 1970, when he retired and sold the business. It is now an office supply store – I got to visit it yesterday. He was a pharmacist in pre-computer times, when he crushed and mixed medicines by hand. He loved his mortar and pestle sets. We have one or two of those, and two old cashiers, in the basement at my mom’s house, and their kitched is decorated with old medicine bottles and pharmacy equipment. If someone had a sick child at 3 AM, they’d call the house and Poppy would get up and go open the store. He was a hard worker and instilled that work ethic into all of his kids.
He couldn’t sit still for very long, and rode his bike downtown every day. Everyone in town knew Poppy. As he got older, he would ride downtown in the afternoon, before some of the businesses were open (particularly the bank and Pizza Sam’s) and he’d make them open early for him. They did so with a smile (and probably a few eye rolls). He never met a person he couldn’t talk to, and he was friends with so many people. When he wasn’t able to ride a bike any longer, he got a motorized cart and continued his trips into town.
He bought a new car every year, and he had a Buick (his favorite auto maker) that he kept in Florida at their winter home (a trailer home in Alligator Park). We went to visit Nonnie and Poppy in Florida several Christmases, and we always got oranges and nuts in our stockings. I remember Mom freaking out when we’d want to walk around the park alone because she was worried about alligators – and I did see one once, but I was with Jim. When Nonnie died about 10 years ago, Poppy gave that Buick to Jim and he and Mom sold it to me. A 1985 Buick LeSabre Collector’s Edition with a navy blue vinyl top and baby blue body, complete with cruise control, tilt steering, interior wood trim, cassette player, velour power seats, power windows and locks and a specially-installed trunk pop button in the glove box. My first car. I loved it. I’ll try to dig up some pictures of it.
After I got the car, Poppy came to visit. The car just needed a tune-up, so we took it to the shop. Poppy insisted on coming with me. He was mad that I used cheap gas in the car (hey, I was in high school and Land Yacht got 14 MPG on a 24-gallon tank AND it was a V8 – I worked at freaking Walmart, people). So we take the car in and the mechanic comes out and says, “Did you know you still have the car’s original spark plugs?” Hahahaha. That was 1999. Poppy was absolutely impeccable when it came to the interior and exterior of the car, but since he never really owned one for more than a year and didn’t drive this one very often, he didn’t know much about regular maintenance. Even after that, he SWORE the problem was cheap gas…when the driver’s side door lock broke, we joked that it must have been that damn cheap gas.
He would get up early and then be napping with the remote in his hand by the time the rest of us got up…but if you tried to change the channel, he’d wake up and tell you he was watching that…and then proceed to flip channels until he dozed off again. Then he’d wake up and deny that he ever fell asleep. He loved cashews and back scratchers. When I was a pimply teen, he used to walk up and scratch my back really hard – usually over a zit or two…man, that used to hurt so bad. He had the goofiest smile – you couldn’t help but smile back.
He farted a lot. He’s always say, “Gotta get going somehow!” or “Better out than in!” He never had debt. He once sent Jim a birthday check with a note that instructed him to cash the check immediately so he could balance his checkbook. He and Nonnie had citrus trees on their patch of land in Florida, and every winter, we’d get a huge box of yummy oranges and grapefruits.
Best of all, he was a good father and raised Jim to be the same. The best legacy he left is the one I consider to be my real dad. I wish I’d gotten to see Poppy more often. I wish the last few years would have allowed me the time and money to vacation with the rest of my family and see him. I just hope he knows that I loved him and will miss him very much.
Now to explain the title of my post. Poppy refused to say goodbye. I’ve never heard him say that in my life. He always said “so long.”
So here’s to you, Poppy. This isn’t goodbye…it’s just so long.
First, some unrelated, amazingly great news – Mr. T was offered a new job that comes with a healthy raise and much better work conditions. He deserves this so, so much and I’m incredibly happy for him. Jealous? Oh, hell yes. But he really needs and deserves the opportunity. His current boss really is an asshole. And after MY boss screwed him out of $500 this week, we could really use the money. Sweet. Hooray for Mr. T! The best part is that the new company basically chased him down and kept changing the offer until it was something T could actually accept. I’m so glad someone has finally seen his true potential and worth and has rewarded him appropriately. Sometimes, life can be fair.
Now, on the the pictures. Mr. T took our Teddy Bear to Club Paws, which is run by Hope Rescues (the shelter that found him), to get groomed on Tuesday. We decided this year he should get shaved because he loves being outside so much. I didn’t think they’d shave quite so much off, but hey – he loves it, so who am I to complain? He looks so different, and he acts like a puppy. He is so happy and energetic, and he even gets to watch TV on the bed with us sometimes now. Kitty took a day or so to get used to him (I swear, he had no idea who Teddy was when he got home that day), but now they’re back to being nuzzle buddies when they think I’m not looking.
For those of you who may not remember just how fluffy the Tedders used to be, here are two before shots:
And now, the after shots. Note how confused Kitty looks.
He’s so excited about his new ‘do! (And yes, that is a corner Jacuzzi tub sitting on our deck – anyone want to buy it?)
Such a proud little lion!
And a good look at how they did the “mane” – and look at his black markings!
Aw, he’s so cute. I’m glad my two guys had such a good week. Kitty didn’t barf today, so maybe he’s having a good day, too. But he’s an asshole, so who really cares? (Mostly joking – I love that little jerkface.) If we could just fix me, we’d be the perfect happy family. Sigh.
I adore my husband. He knows that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday (even though we all know it’s a faux holiday established by Hallmark, DeBeers and men in diapers) – come on, it’s the pinkest day of the year – and he planned a little surprise weekend trip for our first VDay as a married couple. I have to say, buying that first card from the Husband section of the card aisle was pretty damn exciting, but knowing that he’s planned a surprise that involves leaving the house is just awesome. It melts my icy heart.
If that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, we’ll be coming home Saturday because my BFF, Ms. B, is taking me to a baking class at the Viking store on Sunday morning (a belated and superbly fantastic Xmas gift). I am so pumped.
And if those two awesome events weren’t enough, Mr. T came home with three orders for baked goods from a coworker. That and all the bdays coming up in the near future encouraged me to start a new blog on the URL I bought for the bakery I wish to own someday. This way, I can document my forays into baking as well as into opening a business. It’s a long way off from being a real business, but it’s a beginning and I’m happy to share it. Go here if you are interested. It’s still a wee baybay, but one I hope will grow.
Not too shabby for a week’s work, eh? I miss feeling happy like this. I hope this positive streak continues!
I operate on the FIFO accounting method, so I’ll start with the lovely Lisa’s request – how I met my Mr. T. As I look back, I can see how things came into play and ultimately showed that we were meant to be – although, at the time, I thought it was anything but…
[Insert Scooby Doo flashback a la Wayne's World]
I believe it was summer 2002…I had worked one college summer at WalMart and one at Steak n Shake and I was soooo ready to never do either again. I had made enough staple name tags and had enough pairs of black pants that would never smell right again to last me a lifetime. I had even watched a Wally world customer walk to the clothing section, whip off her top (sports bra, lots of fat rolls) and begin trying on shirts as I watched from the customer service desk. I had also managed to sprain my hip when I slipped on freshly mopped floor with a tray full of hot coffee at SnS. Me + retail = not working out.
So there I was - moved home for the summer and needing to find a job. My mom had just started working in the guidance office at the local high school, and received a call from a local roofing company looking for a summer secretary. She mentioned that she had a daughter home from college who happened to be looking for a job and viola. She called me, I called the company, I interviewed and BAM - summer job.
Mr. T was hired shortly after I began. There was a wide array of guys working for the company, but most were stereotypical construction guys (read: sexist pigs). I quickly grew accustomed to requests to wash their vehicles, being called darlin’ and getting hit on all the time. Come on, I was the only female working there aside from the 50 year old co-owner. Plus, I was actually kinda hot at the time. Thinner for sure, anyway. Ah, to be young again.
I digress. The guys were nice for the most part, always friendly (except for Mark, with whom I got in a verbal argument in the office, which resulted in him quitting – go me! He was a useless pile of douchenozzles). Mr. T came in the office regularly, as did all the guys, and he was always the nicest, most respectful in the bunch. We joked around and I thought he was sweet. The guys had taken to calling me the sexytary (like I said, typical construction guys – anything young and female got some sort of nickname), but T never said it to me because he thought it wasn’t proper – how 1950s of him!
Anyway, I worked there several summers and winter breaks and developed a friendship with T. We started calling each other while I was away at school, but I never really thought he was interested in anything more than friendship. I mean, come on, I called him crying about bad boyfriends all the time! I was clueless. He accidentally answered, “Hey, Gorgeous” once when I called, and that was the first hint I had that he might like me.
I came home for winter break again and my car had to go in the shop. While at the office holiday party, T mentioned that he needed to buy his sister some Precious Moments figurines for his family’s gift exchange. I mentioned that I needed to return a truly heinous gift from my grandmother but didn’t have a car, so we made a deal. I’d go next door with him to the Hallmark shop and pick his sister’s gift and he’d take me to West County Mall to return the worst gift ever (come on – it was a vest and matching purse made of flannel printed with cheerleading crap…if you’ve ever met me, you know I am SOOOOO not a cheerleader).
His budget was $40 and ten minutes later, we walked out with two figurines that totaled $39.78 (or something like that) – and T’s mind was totally blown by my awesome shopping skillz (hey, I do have a mad skill!). We made plans to go to the mall a few nights later.
The next night, a friend (the unspeakable bridesmaid DramaFace) and I went to the AmeriSports bar. While drinking, I called T and invited him up. He said he was watching the hockey game, which was on the TV at the bar, so I told him to come watch it with us. He ended up coming, and we hung out at the casino for a while. Before he arrived, I told DramaFace NOT to let me kiss him because I wasn’t ready for that. She apparently failed because Mr. T insists that I gave him a quick peck on the cheek in the parking garage. Whatever. I don’t remember it…the whole night is a bit fuzzy…there was lots of rum and coke…
So the night of our mall trip arrives and he picks me up. After making the return, we headed to Hot Shots because he was – get this – missing a Blues game to shop with me. Had I known better, I would have realized how into me he was, but alas, I was still clueless. Here’s a slightly-embarassing-but-so-me part of the story…I had gotten these awesome undies for Christmas (like little boy SpiderMan undies but with an adorable turtle on them) and was dying to show them off…so I told him to shut up because I had to show someone and proceeded to unzip my drawers and show off my Speedy panties (I hate that word, by the way, but Mr. T uses it ALL THE TIME). Don’t ask why…I’m a freak show like that.
At this point, I am still clueless as to how he feels about me, but I’m noticing more and more how much I like spending time with him. We were practically inseperable for the remainder of my break, although our first kiss (okay, REAL kiss) didn’t happen until a few nights after the shopping adventure. He was pretty sure it was never going to happen, but it did.
By the time I went back to school, we were unofficially a couple. He came down to visit when he could, and I could tell things were different with him than with past boyfriends. He visited for Valentine’s weekend and I was a nervous wreck because I was going to drop the L bomb. I found Hershey’s Kisses that had “I love you” printed on the paper thingies and planned a homemade candlelight dinner (made much less romantic by the fact that I was living in a dorm…). He arrived as I was finishing dinner, just in time to see the mess I made of the cheddar garlic biscuits. I made these all the time, but was nervous and in a rush and made the biscuit globs WAAAAY too big…and we ended up with these ridiculously ginormous, undercooked beasts that went into the trash. By the end of the meal, I was too nervous to say it, so I nudged the Kiss over to him and he read the paper. He smiled, looked me in the eyes and said he loved me, too.
Then we did it like rabbits.
So, I’m not big on posting pictures of myself. Not that I think I’m so important that someone might want to stalk me, but it’s a little weird for me to blog a bunch of random crap and then put a face to it. However, I’m actually quite proud of my wedding and figured I would cleverly post some non-incriminating pictures from the big day. A few of you will be especially enamored with some of these (*ahem* Schneider Doodle, Pamster, RhoJo and Coree). Besides, most of my Xmas gifts involve wedding pictures, so you know. Happy holidays and all that crap.
Without further ado, may I present the highlights (and what some might consider lowlights) of the Mr. T-Sassy wedding (all but one of the following are courtesy of the amazing Clary Pfeiffer)…
My amazing necklace, handmade by my fabulous sister:
The unity candle – there is ribbon at the top of the tapers that you can’t see – and it almost caused a fire during the ceremony. Ahhh, memories:
My flowers and vow pillow:
My best friend tying me up:
The church – I love this perspective shot:
On to the fun reception details:
Yep, those are Smurfs on top of my cake:
Cheers! This is a good shot of my wedding gift, one of two right hand rings:
This picture is from Ame of Dickey Designs – my waist looks TEENY and I love it:
Our first dance – I ADORE this shot:
Party time! Here are some of my favorite dance shots from the night…and remember, full open bar:
I know this happened more than once, but between the slippers and dress, I don’t know how:
So there you have it. Lots of time-consuming details and mild breakdowns, but a gorgeous day with lots of happy memories to help offset the sad ones.
But if Mr. T ever divorces my ass, I will never, EVER get married again. Ever. Maybe I should start being nicer…
Nah. He knew what he was asking for when he proposed.
Today officially marks two months of life without Grandma. It sucks. There are good days and bad. I think about her everyday. I miss her everyday. I cry almost everyday. I’m so sad that I’m getting married in September and she won’t physically be there with me. So much in my life involved her, but by the same token, not enough involved her. I wish I had spent more time visiting with her at the home. I wish I had asked more questions about her life. I wish I had called her more. I still haven’t taken her number out of my phone. I can’t. It’s too permanent. I wish I hugged her more. I wish I hadn’t assumed she would just be around whenever I wanted to see her. I wish I hadn’t been so selfish when she was alive and had given her more of my time and shown her more of my love. As hard as it was for me to see her in a home, it must have been so much harder for her to actually be there, and I took that for granted. I would give anything in the world to see her flip the bird one more time. But I can’t, and that breaks my heart. It’s so easy to look back and see everything I did wrong while she was here…but for today, I think I’ll look back and remember some of my favorite stories.
Okay, Grandma, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Do you remember…
…how J and I would use your flyswatters as swords and run around your house pretending to be She-Ra?
…how Mom used to have to wait until She-Ra was over every single afternoon before she could take us home?
…that Halloween that we actually got She-Ra costumes?? I bet that saved a bunch of flyswatters from certain death.
…that time I was playing with the kids across the street and I came and asked if you would make us grilled cheese sandwiches? You said, “In a minute!” and I put my hand on my hip and busted out my best Michelle Tanner impersonation, saying, “Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!” And then the neighbor’s dad came over and wanted a sandwich, too? Those people were weird.
…how J was your pumpkin and I was your munchkin?
…when I slammed your fingers in the van door outside the bowling alley? I still cry when I think about how that hurt you. We bowled while you sat there with ice on your hands. I never got over how badly I felt about that.
…all those times we’d take you to Target and you’d holler at the cart boys, “Yoo hoo, boys! I’ve got two cute, single granddaughters!” Every time. Without fail. Funny now, mortifying then. But after Grandpa passed, you would get so mad when we’d see a single old fart at a restaurant and try to do the same.
…the old red car Grandpa used to drive? It didn’t even have seatbelts. You both smoked, so the vinyl interior always smelled like cigarettes. To this day, riding in a car that belongs to a smoker is so comforting and makes me think of that car.
…how Mom and I used to fight all the time? When we’d come over and take you shopping, Mom would walk away to get something and you’d ask what was wrong. I’d tell you and then later find out that you told Mom I told you…and I always glossed over the parts of the stories that incriminated me, but you always found out…and you’d yell at both of us and make us make up.
…how you’d always say, “Aw, hell” after anyone told a dirty joke or teased you? It was always after you laughed, though, so we knew you weren’t mad. Or offended. You just liked to play innocent, but we know the truth.
…how, without fail, regardless of what time we arrived, you’d ask us “Do you want a soda? Do you want a Little Debbie?” every time we walked in your front door? Before we left, at least one of us had to have a soda and eat a Debbie…
…the green pickle elevator? You had that green tupperware container with the white lid that had a matching green insert that lifted pickles out of the juice so you could grab them. I loved that thing, and you always let me eat as many pickles as I wanted.
…how S smoked pot in your basement all the time so we’d have to yell down first before we went down to play Nintendo with him? I always thought your basement smelled weird…and then biodad took me to a Ringo Starr concert when I was about 13 and, as we walked past the lawn, I said, “That’s weird. It smells like Grandma’s basement here.” Biodad did look a little guilty, now that I think about it. You know, I was in my twenties before I put it all together…I was a little sheltered.
…how you’d say, “Holy cow, look at that big fat ass” every time an obese person passed us in public? And you never said it quietly. Sure, it was mean, but it was honest and that was just part of your overwhelming charm.
…how Matt thought you were joking every time you flipped him off? Dumbass.
…how you kicked breast cancer’s ass? You may have lost one boob in the process, but like you always said, the other one wasn’t much more than a fried egg anyway…besides, having a one-boobied grandma was pretty cool to brag about.
…how there was an earthquake not two hours after you passed? I knew you wouldn’t go quietly, and that you’d make an entrance when you got to the pearly gates.
…how much we all love you? You were truly one of a kind and I was blessed to have you as my Grandma.
Thank you for babysitting J and me for so many years and not killing us. Thank you for being the peacekeeper, but also for stirring the pot. Thank you for all the laughs, all the tears, all the strength you taught us. Thanks for fighting so hard and beating breast cancer and three strokes. Thanks for always being there for me. Thanks for always being honest with me. Thanks for so many things I can’t possibly express at this moment.
I’ll never forget all the time we had together. I’ll never stop missing you, but maybe someday, my heart will hurt a little less. I’ll never stop loving you, because that would simply be impossible. I will forever take you with me everywhere I go. I am a piece of you and you are a piece of my heart and soul. I love you so much. Here’s to you, Grandma. May I someday be a third of the woman you were. And twice the smartass.
As much as I despise wedding planning (and trust me, it’s a lot), I am begining to grow complacent with the process as I am realizing that all that matters is the end result – I will be married to the love of my life. And holy crap, do I love him (we shall call him Mr. T because that makes me laugh). Not only does Mr. T love my fat ass the way it is, but he puts up with my crazy – and that is A LOT of crazy for one person to tolerate. An example, you say? You want an example of the crazy? Sure! Read on, my friends…
A few weeks ago, I was crabby (I still am, but I was then, too) and upset that I had so much wedding stuff to do and Mr. T didn’t want to participate. So I busted out the “you wanted this big wedding, not me, so why the hell do I have to do all the work” card and a tiff ensued. I needed to leave to go shopping for outfits for our engagement photo session the following week, and he had been really picky about what he wanted to wear and I was irritated. I also had a bunch of other little errands and was just all around bitchy. So the tiff has started and stuff is said back and forth, ultimately concluding in me telling Mr. T that he doesn’t even care about our e-pics (as I am about to get in my car and leave). He starts to say something about how he does care but isn’t going to jump around and yell about it. My response? It’s so obvious. Naturally, I look at him over my car and say, “You don’t get it! I’m a hippo!”
I then slam my door, burst into tears and drive off. I mean, duh. What else would you expect? I know it’s ridiculous. And crazy. But apparently it’s also charming and endearing because Mr. T loves me so. For that, I am the luckiest girl in the world.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I don’t understand the concept of someone truly loving me for who I am, but for the first time, this week I finally knew that Mr. T really does. I can see it when he looks at me. Not gushy enough? I can feel it when he holds me. Nauseaus yet? That’s right, I can feel his love in the pot of coffee he brews for my crabass every morning (and no, I don’t take it with cream, you dirty rotten perverts). I’ve known for years that I love Mr. T with all my heart, but it took my crazy ass this long to realize that he really feels the same for me. I am the cookie to his monster and he is the cake to my fat kid.
And that’s a good thing. (Holla back, Martha!)