Saturday, October 17, 2009
Old Blog Found......but I can't get to it.....
The thing about being in the presence of greatness........ is that you usually don't realize it until it has passed. Funny huh? Last night, on my way home from work, I was thinking about what it means to be truly great. What does it mean to be special? What makes someone exceptional? How do you know you are doing the right things? Making a mark? Instantly my mind went to my Grandma Sis. It should be said, that my Grandma Sis was really my great aunt. She was my grandmother's sister. She WAS my Grandma Sis. Had you tried to tell me any different, you would have gotten a swift kick in the shin or a tongue lashing that you didn't realize could come out of such a small child.
What did I love about her? The list would be shorter to tell you what I didn't love. I didn't love that she left this world while I was in high school during, possibly, the most irritating phase of my life. Everything else, I loved. Sis was a big lady and I loved that too. She kept the messiest house you have ever seen in your life. Not dirty, mind you, but cluttered in a way that would make my friend Allison scream or at least require some sort of pharmaceutical to soothe her. Messy! In every corner there was an adventure. A Chinese Checker board with no marbles, a flocked bird with no nest, a National Geographic from 1972, or an Easter Egg decorated 20 years earlier. No shortage of entertainment or awe. And her back yard.......there was a cherry tree the size of Heaven and Earth. The cherries from this tree were indescribable. I can still close my eyes, open her gate, climb the porch stairs, through the front door, left through the living room, into the dining room, right into the kitchen and out the back door. Once I had entertained myself to the point that I just couldn't go on, I would turn around and there she would be. Dressed, like a grandmother should dress. She wasn't wearing jeans and sneakers. In fact, I don't think I ever saw her wear pants that weren't made of polyester. She would most likely be wearing a flowery frock that I always heard called a house gown. There were two roomy pockets perfect for hiding things grandmothers need. Kleenex for nose blowing, face wiping, gum collecting, or an impromptu bandage. Candy for obvious reasons, a dandelion that I picked for her, a stone she found especially interesting, a spoon she was stirring with when she saw that I looked bored and needed company. Who needs a chair when you have a grandmother’s lap?
It hit me last night, that everything I loved about her, I hate about me. She could have cared less about a job. (My job is my chief source of stress) Her job was us. Loving us, nurturing us, throwing the ball to us, making our Halloween costumes, and giving us the best of her. That was her contribution. I loved her rolls. (Even the sound of a bathroom scale turns my stomach. I can’t even look at the doctor’s office. I haven’t seen myself nude in 5 years!) She was again, a big lady. I loved the squishy of her. She always reminded me of Mrs. Claus. She smelled of cookies, lasagna, and your wildest dream. She did not diet. What a crazy thought. She didn't worry about how the house looked. (Stress point number two) She didn't waste a second. She dragged me to sewing classes, yard sales, flea markets, and she made K-Mart a holy place for me. She gave me heart. She was WONDERFUL.
When I think about the world today, only 20 years later, I can't help but be sad that these grandmother's are almost gone. They are at Weight Watchers or on cruises. They are working on their third marriages. They aren't waiting when we get there with a great plan to make us the center of the universe. They are probably at work. Their houses are Southern Living neat. They don't have 400 magazines, scissors, pipe cleaners, glitter, macaroni noodles, and Elmer's school glue waiting to become our next masterpiece. A work that will, in her eyes, be Worthy of the Queen’s mantle.
The thing about being in the presence of greatness, is that you usually don't notice until it is too late........... I consider myself blessed. I always knew my Sissy was great!