Six months ago today, my grandmother died. Charlotte, my dad's mother, was afraid to travel. I rarely got to see her as growing up I either lived in Europe or the east coast of the US. She braved the train all the way to Homestead, Florida 20 years ago, before Hurricane Andrew blew us to another state.
When I got married, she was there to lend a hand with floral arrangements and to make sure a giant granny square blanket would be made in my wedding colours. She worked on it in secret in my brother's room while we finished sewing and creating other wedding things. It is ofcourse made from red heart, and today I am so glad that it is. That blanket will out live me.
How do I know? Well I have the blanket her mother made thirty years ago atleast. A flaming orange mixed with shades of brown. Both blankets graced the floors of our very silly hippie anniversary party. (everyone came in costume and tie-dye and we lit a lava lamp. It is on youtube if you don't believe me.) We also used all those beads Grandma sent from mardi gras.
Charlotte remembered my birthday every year, which was a big deal. I spent most of my childhood with little contact from my grandparents. I remember crying when my friends would go see their grandparents because I wasn't able to. But every year on my birthday was a card, signed "Love, Grandmother" Very sensible, very practicle. There was no card this year.
On Charlotte's Birthday, we found out Bobbi had cancer.
Today we are about 10 days in to my Grandmama's pancreatic cancer. My mother's mom, Bobbi, lived with us for almost a year when I was a child. This is my SoCal grandmother, her father worked on movies, my mother's father worked on movies. There were some glamorous moments. She was beautiful. She is still beautiful. Tan, blonde, living on Hunington Beach, blocks from the ocean. she taught me how to walk in high heels properly with a book on my head. She sang silly songs to us, which we sang again on Tuesday night.
Bobbi would put vanilla behind her ears when ever she was baking. My mom did the same. When baking with my girls we dab the traditional vanilla behind our ears. Turns out it is a WW2 thing. Perfume was too costly, but vanilla could do the trick. To me it is my grandmother.
Grandmama was an occasional knitter. But she never taught me or my mother how. I have a baby poncho she knit. some where is one of her paintings, and then there are photographs of her and Elvis Presley (See, told you there was a touch of glam.)
This year has been hard. 2 broken arms, 1 crushed finger at kindergarten, scarlet fever, IRS audit... But this year has also been soo good. I did actually make my deadlines. This week I was so side tracked I was not sure I was going to get things mailed off.
Stress has brought cleaned and organized kitchen cabinets this week. I refrained from alphabetizing them. Ditto on the fridge.
I am still getting used to Grandma being missing. I placed an order for 4 copies of the book that has my pattern in it. I had planned to make them presents this holiday season. Thanking them for being crafty women, being proud of me, loving me.
This order was changed to 3 books.
Now I am hoping to get 1 mailed while I still can.
I got to talk with Grandmama, I didn't get to with Grandma. It makes a difference. I know now why they say people need to say good bye. We have gone so long with out a death in our family, this is unfamiliar. Pancreatic Cancer is horrible, deadly and fast. It is also under funded. I have a few ideas for that.
Thank you to everyone who has called and emailed, and sent a Rav pm. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am blessed to have such lovely people in my life.
I love you a bushel and a peck....and a hug around the neck....