Recently a dear woman has left us and I would like to share my Grammy with the world. She's gone on "vacation" as she would always say. Boy how I loved this woman. See, she wasn't my "real" Grandmother, not by blood, was something she would always say too, but by heart. This woman Mary cared for my sister and I. Me, since I was a little tyke of 6 weeks old and my sister (who's 3.5 years older) was 5 months old when we started to go to Grammy D's house for Daycare, of course she was called our sitter back then. We went to her house every day until we started school, and for me I hated Kindergarten because I knew my Grammy was right up the hill from the Church I went to Kindergarten in and I didn't have to sit in a circle with a bunch of kids, I could sit on the couch with a cookie and watch soap operas... "Stories" she would call them. She was a woman who never looked her aged - still living at home up until a couple weeks before she left. I wrote the following letter to her on her 97 birthday, she passed just two days before...
A letter to my Grammy D
I hope I told you enough how much I love you; I hope I hugged you enough to show you how much I care. I tried to do these things over abundantly because I knew there would be a time I couldn’t. I dreaded the day you would be gone or “go on vacation” as you’d call it, since I was 5 years old. You took such good care of me I tried to return the favor every chance I had. There were days you were challenged, I remember too well. You would yell out the backdoor, “You want them? Come and get them!” Now that I think of it, the neighbors must of wondered what the heck was going on. I’m sorry for those days I gave you so much trouble and you had to ask God to give you strength.
There were many good days we shared, walking around the block while I rode my bike. Going to the town pool on hot summer afternoons, you would sit on the edge in your brown skirt dangling your feet in the water watching over me like a good Mother Hen. Your skin turned such a golden brown on those long afternoons. You looked like an angel sitting so proper.
There were days I was sick and you took care of me, bullion soup with elbows, or rice with butter and salt - those were my favorite. We had afternoons of watching music videos and we’d do a dance party in the living room. We’d bake cakes or help with your weekly chopped ham sandwiches for Bingo on Tuesday nights. I’d always beg for one and you’d save enough to make me a half.
When I was old enough to walk down street by myself, you had a hard time letting me go. “Don’t take any wooden nickels”, you’d say and make me carry a paring knife in my pocket. God that makes me chuckle, how many people would give an 8 year old a paring knife to carry around these days? And the summer I was 10, do you remember you helped me do my paper route? Oh, the sight of you with that Valley News bag around your tiny little body. We had 48 papers to delivery every day, you would do the Block and I would do the Height, meeting halfway when we were done. You even did the whole thing by yourself while I went to Maine on vacation - you must love me a whole lot...
I remember your traits from living through the depression; you never let anything go to waste. You would scrape mold off the top of cottage cheese, drink sour orange juice, take all the day old baked goods you could fit in your tiny arms from the Senior Center and pilfer ketchup and sugar packets into your purse from McDonald’s. How could anyone blame you, you knew struggle and you knew how to survive.
Even when I was older, you still took care of me. Whether it was a sandwich after school, or a trip to McDonald’s to get your free cup of coffee, it was always special to spend time with you. You were the best and easiest person to talk to, I could tell you anything and you never judged, you just loved and supported the best way you knew how. You always knew the right thing to say, or when to not say anything at all because “Nobody asked me, I was just listening”, you could hear a conversation across the room and pretend like you didn’t.
There are so many wonderful memories I have of you I could write a book, your sayings, your undying love, and your beautiful face. I wanted to write to you so I wouldn’t forget, and I wanted you to know - I hope I told you I love you enough, and hugged you enough to show you how much I care. I know you will always be with me, I feel you now. Grammy, Peace be with you.
I love you, “Your Adopted Daughter” – Jackie
March 1, 2010 – Today is your Birthday, Happy Birthday
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- My name is Jackie and I am a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin to many, and a dreamer of sorts. I dream of many things and one is a life full of acceptance, achievement and success for my Super Hero son Asa. He's got extra good stuff that comes with a little thing called Down syndrome. We live in the beautiful state of New Hampshire with our 2 Bulldogs; Rosie, Frankie and 36 chickens.