Monday, November 29, 2004

And not so favorite thing...

I just got word from my older sister that my grandmother passed away this morning. *sigh!* Even though we were all ready for it as she has been quite ill for a while now, it still stings a little. Ok, more than I thought, to be quite honest. She was my last surviving grandparent. And while she wasn't the coolest old lady to me when I was growing up, she was always very...grandmotherly. She was the grandma that baked cookies with us when we went to her house for visits. She was the grandmother that lived in a mobile home park for a good part of her life. I remember when we used to go visit her when we were kids, and we'd play with her parakeet, Cookie, and we'd go for walks through the mobile home park, and we'd go to the little recreation center they had and visit with some of Mema's friends every now and then. (That's what we called her, btw...Mema. "It's mommy backwards," she told me once when I asked her why we called her Mema. Phoenetically, she had a point. Otherwise, I guess it doesn't make much sense. :) She's also the grandma that taught us how to play pokerkeeno, and other little games like that. She had a room full of stuff that we'd sort through all the time. Things that she'd never thrown away, but wasn't ever going to use again, either. When she moved out of her mobile home a few years ago, she gave me all the records that used to belong to my grandpa (who died when the Twin and I were about 7 or 8, if I recall correctly...), because they were classical music records for the most part, and she figured that I'd appreciate them more than anyone else. I don't own a record player, and they're the only records I own, but I'm always in search of a player that's reasonably priced, just so I can someday listen to the records that my grandpa loved. (Plus it really is good music...stuff I like a lot. So I look forward to being able to hear them someday...)

God, she was SUCH a grandma! She was squishy, and old, and smelled like mothballs. She sucked on hard candy, and she shuffled around the house slower and slower with every year that passed. One time, I had to do a project for a class where I spoke to someone who had lived during WWII, and I chose to talk to Mema about where she had lived, and what she had done. Turned out she was one of the riveters. She worked in a factory while my grandpa went off to Panama to work in the Army as a construction foreman, or something. It wasn't very exciting. But she told me that they got on just fine. My mom was the only child she'd had at that point, so it wasn't like the family was overbearingly large or anything. In old pictures, her hair was always blond and curly, and for a good part of the 60's and 70's, she wore some downright funky-ass glasses that I can picture very clearly in my head right now, but I don't think I could do justice describing them. She worked as a cafeteria lady for as long as I can remember, and did so until she retired finally about 10 or so years ago. She called black people "colored", and she hated the Asian community that had sprung up around her mobile home park, finally chasing her to live with her two daughters in either Texas or Northern California. (And it really was bad...all the signs had been changed to read in only Korean in her neighborhood. Her church community had changed drastically, and she couldn't understand what the priest said any more...the people she encountered in stores were apparently nasty to her - although it could have been her attitude towards them that caused it, who knows - so she didn't like going outside her mobile home park any more...) But she was a product of the 30's. She was not cool, in any sense of the word. But she was nice. And she was a proper grandma.

I'll miss you, Mema. Even though we didn't talk much over the past couple of years, you've always been on my mind, and I've always wished you the most comfortable days possible as you went through your latest challenge. Hopefully you've found a place where you can hang out with Mom and Pepa, and everyone else that you loved through life. Watch over the rest of us along with those who have already gone on ahead of us, and guide us toward the right path always. God bless you! I love you...

7 comments:

lyn said...

dude...i am hormonal. that totally made me well up in tears.

sorry about your mema. hugs to you.

Faith said...

Aw, thanks Lyn! Hugs to you too, sista. Hope your back is feeling better...

Mark said...

Sorry to hear about your grandma. I've only known one grandparent, myself. She has an oooold B&W TV - and it still works! It's so old that the screen is rounded, and not square.

I was shocked when I saw a few months ago a record player (with other things - can't remember the details) in K-Mart the other month for about $50. It was also made of wood and had a rustic look about it, but undoubtedly state-of-the-art electronics inside.

Anonymous said...

My condolences, J.
That was a beautiful write-up.
sheri

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that sweetie. She must be looking down on you with love and fondness, just like you spoke of her. {{{{{hugs to you}}}}
~Cheri

Anonymous said...

Faith:
I'm so sorry to hear about your Mema's passing. You obviously have a lot of good memories of her. Keep those memories in your heart and she'll always be with you. God bless.
--Rich

yvonne said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my Granny in May and even though she was 97, it still hurt very much. Sorry for your loss.