My Grandma died yesterday. Since she was put into Hospice care, I have been writing down several memories of her that I will cherish. They are sort of stream of consciousness, a little different from my normal writing, but I thought I’d share.
My first memories of Grandma Blom’s house are of her Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs plastic mug set. I was the only granddaughter at the time, so I was so excited to always get the Snow White cup. Every family gathering, Grandma would get out the thickest phone book she had and place it on my chair so I could reach the table. Back then, we were the only grandkids, so we sat at the upstairs table.
After we were all set up with our Snow White, Doc, Grumpy and Bashful cups, we would say the Lord’s Prayer. I learned the Lord’s prayer sitting at my Grandma’s table. It was a solemn and serious moment that taught me to revere God, and really think about the words of the prayer. Often, after dinner was served, and before desert, we would say the Lord’s Prayer again. There was a picture of a praying man on the wall. He was an old guy, praying with his eyes closed and hands folded. I always assumed the guy was the Holy Spirit. I have no idea where I got that idea, but I thought it for years. Looking back, it is so wonderful to me to know that I learned the center, the very core of my faith at my Grandmother’s kitchen table. The Lord’s Prayer with the Holy Spirit in the middle of it all.
Grandma’s living room was sort of the same revered place as the Lord’s prayer. We had to be quiet and solemn. No running or wild games or toys. Quiet conversation or naps on the couch leaned up against an uncle or aunt were allowed.
Grandma’s basement was a different story. There was a magical cabinet that was out of our reach, but held the fallout of Jewel’s candy aisle. Grandma worked at Jewel for years, only in the candy aisle. Her job was to stock the candy and make sure there were no ripped bags. If there was a ripped bag, she got to take it home. This was absolutely the most delightful thing for us grandkids, since even after dessert, she would open the cabinet and hand us Hershey Kisses and Starbursts.
Grandma and Grandpa had a color TV downstairs, on it we watched The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music every Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving evening, since that was the only time it was ever on back then.
As our family grew, we had to move our celebrations from the upstairs table to the basement. Grandpa’s ping-pong table was transformed into a table full of food, cousins, flying aluminum foil balls, laughter, tears, and lots of noise. Always, of course, we would say the Lord’s Prayer first. Me and my brother’s always looked forward to the “green stuff”, which we later learned was pistachio pudding. It was our favorite thing ever. I also loved when grandma made chocolate eclair dessert. Truly one of my favorite things.
On Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa always picked out the nicest toys for us. Our presents were always wrapped in the “Funny Papers”. I loved that. It was economical, but also very creative. Each grandkid got one, maybe two toys. Grandpa loved to shop for the Grandkids. One year I got a Strawberry Shortcake doll, and I loved her.
My Grandma grew up in the Great Depression. She was one of ten children. She gave me a spearmint candy once, and told me that she used to get one on Sundays, just one, and suck it as long as she could because that was all she got of any sort of candy for the week. I’ve never forgotten that. It’s funny what memories stick with us as we age and how time shapes our memories of a person.
I will miss my Grandma. She was the last of my Grandparents to go to Heaven. She finally closed her eyes to pain and suffering yesterday and opened them to Real Life, Real Love, and finally Real Joy. I can picture in my mind the smile on her face when she saw Jesus, her oldest and dearest friend and Savior.