Yesterday morning, very early, my grandma passed away. She'd been in the hospital for almost a week and was starting to get better - she even had gotten some coffee. I didn't go up to visit, though, because she was in intensive care and kids aren't allowed - not me as a kid, but my kids. she's been on my mind alot this past week, of course, and I'd like to talk about her for awhile. Grandma was in her 90's. She played bingo almost every week with my parents and my other relatives. She liked chocolate and told me once that if she was thin she'd look old since the fat on her face filled out the wrinkles. My grandma was divorced and Catholic - not normally two things that go together. In fact, she was a single mom in the 50's with three boys and a girl. She had a good job in the office at Caterpillar and did work in the house at night to keep everyone fed and such - of course my grandpa didn't pay child support since it wasn't invented and he had another wife and kids. (He's a whole other story, I tell ya.) I can't imagine raising my dad and his brothers - they're rowdy now and they're old. It's amazing that Grandma didn't drink. That's probably part of why she lived so long. I have five great-aunts (correct me if I'm wrong and forgot someone, mom) and Grandma told me that when they were little they used to play "Movie Star". Grandma pretended to be Jean Harlow. I still am surprised at that - I love Harlow and long for an occasion to wear a slinky bias-cut gown and be sassy and gorgeous. I should have talked about her with Grandma to see movies and stars from her point of view - actually watching classics when they were new and current. Grandma was a Cubs fan - baseball is a line in the family, Cubs or Cardinals, no other team exists. (I'm a Yankees fan, so I keep out of the conversations.) We used to have holidays at her house but the family has exploded into more people than I can remember sometimes - since she lived so long there are four generations under her. I don't think there's a wide-angle lens big enough to fit all of us in one shot. I didn't spend as much time with her as I could have - I live an hour away and have mentioned that I hate driving - but she did come here once to see my home and meet all of Eric's kids. I'm really glad that my kids knew her. They're both very upset right now, of course, but they'll have memories of spending time talking with her. I know there's more but it's escaping me right now. (My trip to Wal-Mart and usual bad experience there has damaged my thought process this afternoon.)
As I leave, please remember to call your grandma if she's still around. Be safe this weekend.