You’re a Firework
Posted November 13, 2012on:
I never expected to be so lucky as to have Grandma Ann in my life until I was 32. Most of my friends are lucky to have one grandparent left, while I have been blessed to share many special occasions with 3 of my grandparents. My grandmother was there for my wedding. I was able to be with her in Ohio a few years ago. She was delighted to hear that I was pregnant and share some maternity stories with me. Most recently, I was able to share photos of her great-grandson peacefully dosing in the crib that came from her.
I remember Grandma Ann as a happy woman. Her smile was infectious and she openly shared her excitement. And that enthusiasm often lead to a nice, swift punch in the arm. A loving one, but a punch no less. If you told a good story, or teased her a bit, she’d rear back and give you a solid jab. My husband joked that he was bruised by a woman more than twice his age the first time they met. If you thought the Seinfeld “Elaine push” was bad, you’d best stay two feet clear of grandma’s fist!
The other thing I loved about my grandmother, was her sense of style. She knew how to dress! My grandparents never had an exorbitant amount of money, but Ann knew how to pull an outfit together and wear a pair of heels! I always loved that about her. Even at an age when most women opt for flats, Ann would have stomped a runway in a pair of red heels.
Even though I wasn’t there all the time, it always felt homey and comfortable to visit. And maybe I have a more idyllic view because I wasn’t there for the day-to-day, but that small house in Garfield Heights was a home. Family picnics in the backyard. Chasing fireflies at night. Fresh baked applejack. Lunchmeat sandwiches on dark rye at the kitchen table. The classic basement bar with holes in the wall 3 feet from the dartboard.
I visited her for a family reunion in ’99. We disappeared and wound up drinking 7&7’s at Grandpa George’s old bar. Under the flickering golden glow of old Christmas lights that were up in July, Grandma told me childhood stories about growing up and raising a family in Cleveland. Family get-togethers, Sunday mass and Slovak cooking.
When I visited her a few years ago, we took her to Starbucks. It was her first time and of course I was elated to share with her my silly obsession with coffee. It wasn’t even about Starbucks. It was just such a wonderful morning. Getting to hangout with her, talking about I don’t even know what. It was a memory made of nothing and everything. A very simple hour or so, but a treasured memory that I’ll never forget.
Ann was a real firecracker. Full of love and spunk, and boy could she be stubborn. But more than that, she was loving and kind. She was a cheerleader to her grandchildren and loved her own daughter and two sons fiercely. Above all, there was her devotion to my grandfather whom she spoke of every time I saw her. I found inspiration in her love for my grandfather while I was miserably wading through the dating world until I found my true love. After he passed away, she never remarried. She loved George will all of her being and it never surprised me that she was simply waiting to be with him again. I believe they are reunited now and it makes my heart swell with happiness to think of him waiting to greet her on the other side. Theirs was a love that was greater than just a physical world. Two souls intertwined and forever connected.
Ann, you’ll be missed, but loved far more. Have a 7&7 with Grandpa for me and maybe I’ll hit a jackpot of you the next time I’m in a casino. Penny slots of course.