In November of last year, my Grandma Jean came to live with us. She was 89 and had fallen and broken her hip and wrist. She spent several months in a nursing home, doing rehab and regaining her strength. She’s a tough old broad though, and fully recovered, with total use of her wrist and she is walking with a walker 90% of the time.
This particular Grandma has been a part of my life since the day I was adopted. She lived in the apartment attached to my parent’s house in Andover, MA, and then close by wherever we lived after that. She taught me how to read full chapter books by the time I was four, how to paint, how to properly serve tea (That little life lesson hasn’t been particularly useful), and ultimately cultivated a love of words in me.
There is one, I don’t want to call a glitch, but maybe more of a hiccup in her awesomeness. It’s her inability to filter anything that comes out of her mouth. I wish that in all the years I have known her, I had the foresight to write some of these gems down. I think I was too busy being mortified by the stories she would tell my friends to see that she was really quite funny.
My memory isn’t what it used to be, as all my brain cells have been killed off by sleepless nights, an over-abundance of Thomas the Train, and my son’s farts. Those things could kill. In any case, here are a few prime examples of her wit and wisdom that I have had the joy of being present for in the past few weeks:
-Let me set the scene:
After church on Sunday, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat on our way home, so we wouldn’t have to do dishes. The lunch itself was pretty uneventful, apart from Rowan not having any pants on, but that’s a whole different post. As we were gathering purses and lone pairs of pants, my mom decided to use the facilities. So as my dad tried in vain to buckle my son into his car seat, I walked Grandma to the door.
Now, her hearing is mediocre, at best. She believes that if she can’t hear what she’s saying, we can’t either. So shouting during a conversation with her is a given. As I was leaning on the door with my back to shove it open, she bursts out, “HER BOOBIES CAN’T BE REAL. SHE MUST HAVE HAD THE SURGERY!” I meekly replied, “I don’t know. Let’s talk about it la…..did you just say boobies? Seriously?” After recovering from the initial shock of witnessing my Grandmother checking out some chick’s boobs, I hurried her to the car. By the time we had gotten there she forgot what we were talking about, and I was able to shove that unfortunate incident to the back of my brain.
-Since we’re talking about her inability to hear, last night she happened to wander by as Rowan and I were sitting on the floor, having a living room picnic together. She asked what we were doing, and I told her, “We’re sharing.”
“You’re eating herring?! It looks like pasta to me!”
“No Gram, we’re SHARING.”
“I’m not staring, I’m just passing through.”
“Okay Gram. Thanks for stopping by.”
-A few days ago I was helping her get out of bed in the morning, and she stops, places her hand on my arm, and says with the utmost sincerity, ” I had a dream I kissed a fine-looking man last night. He would be perfect for you!”
“Gram, I don’t think you and I should be sharing men.”
“Love doesn’t care about age.”
“Yes, but I do.”
“Maybe you should lower your standards. That’s why you aren’t married.”
-Today was the icing on the cake. While helping her get dressed she, in all seriousness, observed that, “Either these pants come up too high, or my boobs hang down too low!”
-Ever since it became shorts wearing weather, Grandma likes to tell me that my legs are sexy. It wouldn’t bother me except that for emphasis she swats my booty when I walk by. I know her mind isn’t all present and accounted for. She’s slowly slipping away, and now, more than ever, I have to remind myself to appreciate the fact that she thinks my legs are sexy while she still knows who the person is that those legs are attached to.