Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Grams

I remember when I was 10 years old listening to another kid say he hated his grandmother. Your grandmother?! How could you hate your Grams? He clearly had a different Grams than I did. I'd always loved mine (both of them, back then), and couldn't imagine it any other way. When my maternal Grams came to visit us in Chicago, I remember sitting in the back seat of the car, racking my brain for things I could tell her. I blurted out, "Grams! Did you notice how the yellow stoplights aren't as long here?" - something I'd heard my Mom say. I was desperate to share what I knew, which wasn't much. (Some things don't change - I'm still desperate to share, which accounts for these newsletters. And I still don't know much.)
We didn't see Grams that often back in those days, living in Venezuela for two years, followed by Chicago for another two. But I knew that she'd always be around, and we could count on her famous fudge and divinity at Christmas. I don't think I really started appreciating my Grams until I was in my late 20's or early 30's, for some reason. Back in the days of expensive phone calls ("Hurry up! It's Long Distance!!") I would call Grams when I was going through the L.A. airports. It started a new type of relationship, and became a pattern for us for the next 20 years. I'd say, "Granma, it's your lovely and loving grandson, Dave."  And she'd say, "Well, hello dear!" We didn't say that much, or need to, but I loved those phone calls.
In 2000 I sort of spontaneously called both my Mom and my Grams from India and told them that the three of us were going on a cruise to Alaska. They had identical responses: "Oh, that sounds fun. We'll have to think about that!" No, we're not thinking about that - we're doing that. Grams was treated like a queen on the ship, and when our waiter wanted to help her cut her steak, she tried to resist, but not very hard. After forty-some years of Grams doing things for me, it was maybe the only thing I ever did for her. At least, it was the only one that cost money.
And I've lost the chance to do anything else for Grams. She died today, at the age of 96. I really love my Grams. This really isn't about me, but who's gonna say "Hello, dear!" to me on the phone now? I'm so happy that she was a part of my life for such a long time. I'm really going to miss her. And I can't adequately express it...
More love:
(The End)