january 13th is grammy’s birthday. the day after mine. we actually almost shared a birthday. when i decided to come 7 weeks premature via emergency c-section, my dad actually stopped the doctor and asked him if he could wait 10 more minutes so that i could be born on my grammy’s birthday. the doctor, ahem, said no. um, it was an emergency c-section. i needed to come out NOW. and so i was born at 11:51pm on january 12th, just 9 minutes shy of sharing my grammy’s birthday. but growing up, it really felt like we shared a birthday since i always saw grammy on or near my birthday when she treated us to a birthday dinner or lunch. for years we went to Marie Calendars and grammy would always laugh when i ordered the same thing – grilled cheese, french fries and a shirley temple. 🙂
i attribute my love of theatre to my grammy, as she took me to my first production – The Nutcracker ballet at Gammage Auditorium. it’s still one of my favorite shows to this day.
this might sound strange, but when i think of grammy, i think of her jewelry. she had such beautiful and tasteful jewelry. she gave me my first set of pearls, my first gold chain and my first silver cross necklace. she always looked so refined and put together. she was the epitome of class and grace. simple and sophisticated in her appearance, she was polite, warm and composed in her manner. elegant. funny. sweet. respectable. thoughtful. generous.
i miss her.
yesterday was the first birthday of mine that wasn’t paired with hers. 3 weeks ago was the first christmas eve at her house without her there.
in remembrance and celebration of her birthday today, i wanted to share the words i shared at her funeral (on behalf of myself, my brother and our 2 cousins):
“Grammy was by far the classiest woman we have ever known. She had a grace, an elegance and a composure about her that, in our eyes, rivaled Jackie Kennedy. She was always perfectly put together, without ever putting others down. Growing up, we remember how her home was neat and orderly, but in a way that was still warm and inviting to us as children. As the 4 of us grandchildren have been reflecting on favorite memories these past two weeks, we realized that we shared quite a few of the same ones – like spending every Christmas Eve at Grammy & Poppa’s house eating the best mexi-flank steak we had ever tasted, with Grammy’s famous buttered tortillas. We remember waiting very impatiently to open presents – and the beautiful stockings that Grammy always hung above the fireplace. I’m convinced that all things magical about Christmas originated at Grammy’s house.
Speaking of Grammy’s house – oh how we all loved to go to Grammy’s house. Some grandmother’s are known for their cookies and lemonade. But for us, going to Grammy’s house meant clubhouse crackers and orange crush soda! And swimming! Swimming under the sun-shaped fountain spouts that were totally a dream come true for little girls who like to play ‘mermaids.’ Grammy always welcomed us into her home and smiled when we made pillow forts in the living room, or laughed as we curiously patted the sheepskin seat covers in her car. Grammy didn’t just love her grandchildren – she delighted in them. From peeking her head over the fence when she heard Michael shooting hoops in the backyard, to sitting through far more basketball games and dance and piano recitals than any non-parent should ever have to endure. Yet she did. She unselfishly gave of her time, showing up to all our stuff with a smile and usually treating us to dinner or ice cream afterwards.
‘Giving’ is a word that definitely described Grammy well. She gave her grandchildren so much. Not just her time or her money, but she gave us her smile, her open arms, her refined example, and her love. Life from here on out won’t be the same for any of us grandkids without Grammy. And while such a precious, beloved, gracious, amazing, beautiful, selfless, kind and special woman has left a huge hole in our lives, she has also left an indelible mark on our hearts. Grammy, we miss you and love you more than we can say. Thank you for being the best Grammy in the whole world.”
the last time i saw grammy was when i drove up to her house to introduce her to my son. it was a precious time seeing her smile and laugh and gaze at jack. i’m so grateful to have such a sweet and happy memory as my last one of her.
happy birthday, grammy. i love you and miss you so so much. can’t wait to see you again one day.