Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Tribute to my grandmothers

on November 9, 2010

I love grandmothers, and I’ve been lucky enough in life to have two exceptional ones.

Lorraine Patricia

My maternal grandmother is one of my favorite people and we’ve always been very close. When I was little, grandma took care of my sister and me. Both mom and dad worked and rather than send us to daycare, grandma came over to watch us. Though I love my sister, I loved the times when it was just grandma, or Gam as I call her, and me. I remember being upset when my sister went off to school, so we would play school ourselves so I didn’t feel so left out. We would nap, watch the Price is Right and play together, and she would make my favorite sandwich for lunch (peanut butter and butter. Don’t ask – I think it sounds kind of gross now). When I got a bit older and it was my turn to go to school, she would help me get ready in the morning and be there when I got home. Once mom and dad got home, it was a hug and kiss goodbye and a “see you tomorrow!” I had a ton of fun with Gam and my childhood is full of the laughter we shared.

My family makes fun of me that I picked up some of her mannerisms. She does this little hand wavy thing when she’s telling a story. My sister busted out laughing when I was talking and did it without even realizing it. I’ve also picked up some of her speech patterns. My mom and sister laugh when they see my 70+ year old grandmother in my not-quite-30 year old body.

I was less close with my paternal grandmother, but that’s mainly because we lived 3,000 miles apart for most of my childhood. Nevertheless, I realized from a young age she was a pretty incredible woman. She had 11 children and though times were tough when they were growing up, from what I understand, she did her best to make sure they were all taken care of and provided for, and that they didn’t realize how bad things were at times. At the time of her death a few years ago, she had 20 some grandchildren and a handful of great-grandchildren. I think most of her time was spent attending birthday parties, soccer games, school plays, band concerts and swim meets. With that large of a family, I never got much time with Grams by myself. There was one time, after I had moved to the east coast, that somehow or another, it was just Grams and me. Maybe it was my birthday or maybe there was no reason at all, but she took me out to lunch. I can’t remember what we talked about, but I relished the fact that I had her all to myself, and I didn’t have to share with my sister or any of my cousins.

Now that she’s passed, I realize I really didn’t know her that well. I learned at her funeral that growing up, her family spoke French at home. I don’t know what she did in life – where she worked, what her interests were, what her life was like when she was my age. I regret not taking more time to ask her about her life to really learn about her and my family. I’m also sad to realize she was the glue that held our family together. Now that she’s gone, the family has been drifting apart over the past few years. While I would never have classified us as close, we talk less and less, and for the most part, most of us only see each other for weddings, and even then lots of members are still missing. The idea of another family reunion seems pretty unlikely. It saddens me, but I guess that’s the evolution of families.

I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been granted two wonderful grandmothers. I know a lot of people only have memories of one grandmother, and some weren’t able to meet either grandmother. The fact that I was able to meet, love and learn from two makes me feel incredibly fortunate.

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3 responses to “Tribute to my grandmothers

  1. […] Tribute to my grandmothers (ourviewfromhere.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] (seafood lasagna for Christmas, anyone?), but for the most part, everyone went their own way.  When grandma passed away, the family drifted apart. I moved off to New York where I experienced complete anonymity. You […]

  3. […] Tribute to my grandmothers (ourviewfromhere.wordpress.com) […]

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