Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jiminy Christmas

My paternal grandmother passed away suddenly when Lauren was a newborn. I was heartbroken. It had been months since I'd last seen her. The holidays arrived after Lauren's birth and that was the year I put my foot down and refused to wander from grandparent to grandparent for Christmas. Greg and I were blessed to have grandparents on both sides of our family and I even had a great grandmother on my mom's side. There were many people all over Ohio who wanted to get their hands on our newest baby. But we had a toddler and a newborn and just decided it was time to step back and simplify our holiday experiences. It's an on-going navigation to this day.

On the day we got word Grandma had a heart attack, I was at the photo studio with little Lauren. I wasn't able to make the hour and a half drive to the hospital in time to tell her one last time I loved her. By the time we arrived, Grandma was gone. Our good-bye was sterile in a hospital room and not the way I want to remember her.

My grandma wasn't the warm and fuzzy nurturing grandma who made cookies with us but she did teach me how to cross stitch and made special items for both Erin and Lauren. She worked in an office until retirement and had her mother-in-law help her raise her children. She had her hair done weekly and wore nice clothing but wasn't unable to enjoy horseshoes in the yard or camping on the weekends. She loved her coffee with cream and sugar and would often slip sips to her granddaughter when no one was looking. She had an ornery wink she'd share just before snapping at one of her sons for saying something smart. Trust me, with that crowd, someone was always saying something sarcastic or wildly inappropriate but ridiculously funny. Her whit and humor are the thing I remember most about her.
We were in Breckenridge Park in San Antonio, TX and I was shaking the ride despite my Grandma's fear of heights. Whereas I was pretty tickled, Grandma clearly was not.

I am somewhat known for my loud laugh. Grandma was too. I suppose these things can be hereditary. One of the many expressions she exclaimed on a regular basis was "Jiminy Christmas". It was something she said when she was surprised, alarmed or amused. Lately, I have noted it is a phrase Lauren uses often. She cracks me up with all the different situations she uses it.  And it's caught on. Kate has said it a few times and just the other day, I heard Makenna say it too.

I just smile because even after all these years, I hear Grandma's voice each and every time.

1 comment:

KaraD said...

So very touching, so much Love. It was beautiful to read your passed down "traditions". It is crazy to me that you were at Brackenridge park. Such a small world. You guys look like two peas in a pod. Thanks for sharing your heart.