July 30

Posted: August 2, 2012 in Exercise, family, Supportive Partner Woman, Travel, Weight loss

I was feeling kind of down the other day… I wasn’t quite sure why this was until this evening. The date finally dawned on me. July 30. See, July 30 marked seven years since my grandmother passed.

My grandmother and I at my college graduation – December 1999

See, I only ever knew one grandmother. My paternal grandmother passed away many years before I was born, but my maternal grandmother, well, she was a constant in my life. Every up, down and sideways, I could always count on my grammy to be there. She helped all of us through the loss of my dad, and was there when SPW and I got married. There’s a low and a high for you. She was there for every birthday, graduation, confirmation, spring musical, communion, and I’m pretty sure she was at my baptism, but that was 41 years ago and my memory is a little fuzzy.

One of the things that really sticks in my mind about my grandmother… she was a Disney fan. I guess I come by it naturally. One time when she was down with us, I think it was either 1978 or 1982, we coerced her to go on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. That was amusing… to us. She was slightly less amused.

I got to travel with my grandmother periodically. We took a bus trip through California after I graduated high school that was a lot of fun. We started in San Francisco, went to Monterey, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, and then headed back through Solvang and ended up in Anaheim. The sad thing is that I was within a stone’s throw of Disneyland and never got there because my grandmother felt that it would be disappointing after having been to Walt Disney World several times. Wish I could’ve made my own decision, though… I’ll get there one day. We did wind up going to Universal Studios Hollywood and that was a lot of fun. I even got to participate in the Star Trek Experience… That was an interesting experience. I got to be the Klingon captain. Woot! One real highlight of that trip was when I took her to the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco. For anyone curious as to what my acting “debut” really looked like, I think you could say that I was about as wooden as Shatner… then again, you can be the judge.

Our other big trip together was to Las Vegas. We did Las Vegas style stuff, including Siegfried & Roy, taking the Dam tour, and gambling a little. We stayed at Treasure Island, which was one of the newest hotels in the city, and I managed to get an incredibly bad sunburn, but it was some fun.

One of the best things about my grandmother was how she would take a shine to people. When she was ill and in the home, if Supportive Partner Woman (Bestest ever!) was visiting and a new nurse came in, my grandmother would always introduce SPW as her granddaughter, not as her grandson’s wife or granddaughter-in-law. She was also too generous. If it would snow, I would go to her place and make sure her car was cleaned off and shovelled out, and she would always insist on paying me. I would always refuse, and then the next time I would put on my gloves, there would be money stuck in one of them. If you protested the next time you saw her, she’d give you this little grin and deny it was her. Every time a minor holiday came by, she’d always have a card for you (Happy Columbus Day?!?) with a couple of dollars stashed inside. Just the way she was.

In the end, she left with no regrets. She told me that she had done what she wanted with her life, and she was ready to go. We all should be so lucky to have that much peace and to leave with no regrets.

I’m going to head to the gym now… day 4 in a row. Back is feeling slightly better. The weekend will prove to be a challenge as Supportive Partner Woman (fitness machine!) heads to NYC to attend BlogHer ’12. I’ll miss her terribly, but I’m not going to go on an eating binge. That would be so counter-productive and, well, what would be the point? To just totally scarf down food until I sit there feeling physically sick and mentally guilty? This is a huge improvement for me, though, as in previous incarnations, I’d already be thinking about what I could binge on. Not gonna do it. Never again.

  1. Kurt Smith says:

    Great stuff about Aunt Anna Brian…I will never forget her taking me to my first ever auto race at the Reading Fairgrounds. Kenny Brightbill was my hero for months after that. She was a great lady.

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