Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

Several months ago I tried to join Self Portrait Tuesday but never received login info from them. I tried again yesterday with no success. So, I will just do this on my own.

This is a picture of the person I hope to be like when I am old. This is my paternal Grandmother – Gram. Everyone calls her Gram. I think her daughters-in-law have always called her Gram. Even her kids call her Gram when they are trying to get her attention. She has not had an easy life. She married young, her parents died when they were in their 40’s, her sister had a nervous breakdown at 17 and has been committed for over 60 years. My Grandfather was mean to her and finally divorced her after 50 years of marriage. She has four sons and one daughter; my dad is the second oldest. Her “Bunny Boy” and my Uncle Phil are her two favorites. Their farm was foreclosed leaving my Grandfather to go work on the railroad and Gram to take a job at the French’s mustard factory. She went to work at 50 years old; the first time she had ever worked outside the home. Growing up she wasn’t the Grandmotherly type – I didn’t spend the night with her, or play Barbies or color but she would make a point of baking for me. She made kick ass molasses cookies and homemade bread. She would have it coming out of the oven as I got home from school and I would devour a whole loaf before dinner. Gram is now 87 years old and doesn’t bake bread anymore because she can’t knead the dough. When she was in her late 70’s she remarried and this photo is of her wedding day. He died five years later giving her the best years of her life and a bunch of money (something she had never had before!). She was in a very bad car accident about two months ago and broke her elbow in five places. I tell you all of this to get to the root of who she is. She never complains. She never has a bad day. She was thrilled to have had five great years with George, not sad because he was gone. When she had the accident she was coming back from the nursing home. She goes there every week to sing to the “old people” and cheer them up. She was sad that she wouldn’t get to play her guitar for a while but didn’t mind the rehab center because so many people came to visit her. She calls my dad early in the mornings because she says she is too busy to call during the rest of the day. She is down in the lobby of her apartment complex visiting with the residents. She won’t walk to church with my Nana because Nana won’t wear pantyhose anymore and it embarrasses Gram! I have her cookie and bread recipes but they are written in some form of hieroglyphics with words like pinch, dash, and dab and they call for lard and oleo. Besides, I could never make them well enough to live up to the memories they bring.