Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Proper Ladies Drink Beer After All

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking it was very strange that my Grandma Mary drank beer. She was the only woman I’d ever seen pop open a cold one on a hot day. Maybe it was because she was old or because she had some German blood in her—I didn’t know, but I was aware that she was different from other women in my life. If the beer drinking wasn’t odd enough to my innocent 7-year old self, there was the issue of her snoring. She’d doze off on the couch and start naso-choking like nobody’s business—something, at the time, I thought only men could do.

Despite her sometimes masculine-seeming behavior, she was a Lady to the nth degree. Always with the matching earrings, necklace, shoes and bag, she sported carefully crafted ensembles every day of the week. When she had to go into a nursing home, she still insisted on wearing lipstick, even if she was spending the day in her jammies.

Grandma always had something to say. About everything. She loved American Idol. She even watched the first season or two of LOST, and always wanted to dish about the characters when I saw her. She enjoyed weighing in on her grandkids’ fashion and hairstyle choices. Giving her two cents about who we were dating. Commending us on our growth spurts with complements like, “Melissa, you’re getting such a nice round bottom on you.”

She was feisty, opinionated and a complete crack up.

Grandma Mary died a year ago today. Sometimes when I’m cruising around in the Prius, I pretend that she and Grandma Bette are sitting in the backseat, chattering away like they used to, making dirty jokes and talking about common friends in the area.

Although my mailbox no longer receives her letters and “little ditties,” as she liked to call her poems, I feel like her love of writing is still with me. My family thinks I inherited some of my passion from her. So today I use it to punch out a post in her honor. I’m sure she’s helping me tap the keys right now, and she just might have a cold beer in her hand.

9 comments:

laura said...

aww......Aunt Mary....she was the best. your post brought a tear to my eye and a smile at the same time.

Anonymous said...

It's Poopy again...

Laura you comment described my reaction EXACTLY :) Thanks for posting in her honor...she was a wonderful, feisty lady and I see a little bit of her in ALL the girls in the family.

geekhiker said...

I wonder, did you ever have a beer with Grandma Mary when you came of age? My Grandfather, who loved a good beer, passed away while I was still in high school, and the idea of going out to a bar and throwing one back with him seems awfully cool to me...

Anita said...

Aw Mel, that was the sweetest post. I'm sure your grandma's smiling down from heaven, feeling very proud of you right about now.

Michael C said...

That's a lovely memorial. I for one am glad she passed the writing passion on to you!

My grandmother taught me how to cuss, gamble and the rules of NBA basketball.

Hey, how do you like your Prius. We are this (even though you can't see the distance between my thumb and index finger at the moment) to buying one.

Diz said...

I loved your Grandma Mary. She was so sweet all the time and I have a lot of great memories of her too.

Mel Heth said...

Laura - Glad you enjoyed it. Aunt Doris deserves a post too!

Poopy - Thanks for helping Gram write her memoirs all those years ago.

Geekhiker - I so WISH I would've had a beer with her! I don't think I ever did! Ah well, I'm sure there are lots of pubs in heaven...at least in the heaven I want to go to.

Anita - Thanks ya little sweet pea.

Michael C - I hope your grandma really did pass that stuff on to you. That's awesome... Regarding the Prius, I COULD NOT love it more. Seriously. I'm happy to answer any questions you have via email.

Diz - You're a little pumpkin. Thank you.

Mom said...

I missed the blog yesterday and am just catching up today. Thank you for thinking about her; I still think about her each day many times and miss her so much. Yes, she was so "in the loop" about everything, including wanting to care for everyone when they should be caring for her. Once a mom, always a mom; she still would ask me if I needed to put a sweater on!
She left such a legacy behind and I hope each of us can continue to carry just a part of her on. An amazing lady, loved by so many. I too have many tears right now.

brookem said...

what a lucky lady your grandmother was to have such a sweet granddaughter. it sure seems like she passed on a great legacy to you and your family.

milestones like these- anniversaries and birthdays, they are not easy. hang in there lady- thinking of you.