Category Grandma

The End of the Story

Every story has to end, even one as long and epic as Grandma’s. She made it to her 98th birthday–barely; she died at 1:10 am. But she made it. Since she was 98, her passing was neither tragic nor unexpected. But it still hurt, and it still hurts. Yes, she lived a long, full life, […]

Time to Start Thinking About These Things

I haven’t posted much about Grandma for the past few months because my visits to her have generally been heartbreaking. Every Wednesday, I bring a new bouquet to brighten up her room in an assisted living facility. When I arrive, she’s almost always lying in bed, listening to an audio book but unaware of its […]

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

My aunt and grandma recently celebrated their birthdays, which fall within two days of each other. (My aunt was quite the birthday gift for my grandma!) I can’t say how old my aunt is–literally; I’m not sure exactly since her age froze in my mind when she was about 45, and she’s content to leave […]

Unexpected Turkeys

I emerged from my grandma’s assisted living facility last week, blinking in the unaccustomed sunshine. It had been a routine visit; believe you me, when you’re visiting someone who’s 96 years old, the lack of surprises is a good thing. But surprises were yet to come… Startled, I peered down at the tracks in the […]

The Ring That Returned

I thought we’d run out of stories, but I was wrong. I should have realized that anyone who’s been on this earth for 95 years, as my grandmother has, will always have one more story somewhere inside. This time, it was the ring that raised the story. I was visiting my grandmother at her assisted […]

Genetic Vanity

I peeked through the bathroom doorway, observing my son Sage meticulously applying “product” to his hair and lovingly combing each gel-coated strand. I knew better than to speak; any interruption of his intense preening would result in a shrill and eloquent reprimand. I had trouble biting my tongue, though, when I had a sudden revelation: […]

The arrival of Skipper

Our household is pleased to welcome its new arrival, a betta that, after some intense thought on Sage’s part, has been christened “Skipper.” He named his fish in honor of my grandmother’s spunky but long deceased goldfish of the same name. She’d told us how, when my father and aunt were children, her family was […]

An afternoon at Gessner

My grandma’s been struggling with a host of physical and emotional burdens lately, but she’s nothing if not determined; she’s returned to her home, a beautifully refurbished old farmhouse called Gessner after the road it’s on. Paul, Sage, and I went to visit her there last Sunday. Visits to Gessner always give me the slightly […]

No going gently into any good nights

It’s been a rough year for my grandma; she’s dealt with pneumonia, the encroaching loss of her eyesight, memory loss, and profound depression. Even so, she’s a fighter; she will never go gently into that good night, and now she’s got the book to prove it. I’d been working with her to collect stories about […]

Naomi’s Independence Day

Originally posted on Naomi's Story:
Naomi on the cusp of independence Naomi and her brothers had always been close, but when their mother’s death left them rattling around their ramshackle house, underemployed and always scrabbling for money, they realized that destiny called them elsewhere. Her brothers went their separate ways—Jimmy to join the Navy,…