Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Grandmother's Birthday

Today is the day she was born.

These are photos from Thanksgiving Day, 2002. They are the only photos I have of her made with a digital camera.

For those who don’t know, the top photo is of her with my mom.

The bottom photo (you can click to enlarge it) shows a bunch of us in the den at her house after our long day of eating and visiting. It got so that we couldn’t do that at her house the last couple of years, and we met at the church’s fellowship hall, which had a lot more room for the children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. On this particular day there were 35 of us, plus the dog. But of course we all packed into her house afterwards!

She was very tired at this time, for various reasons, and I find myself wishing that my last pictures of her were not this way. Most of her life she was so incredibly full of energy.

But maybe that’s not so bad, to have these reminders that everyone has their limits, even the people we tend to idealize.

I was telling a friend today about her—how beautiful she was, how elegant she was, how articulate she was. And yet what prompted me to talk about her today (besides it being her birthday) was the memory of her lifting her tennis-shoed foot and stomping down paper towels in a wastebasket in a public restroom, saying, “I just don’t understand why people don’t do this more often, why they make such a mess.” (I had found just such a mess of overflowing paper towels in the restroom at work, and had followed her example and stomped them down.)

She was real, very real. So she had to get tired, and eventually she had to leave us.

Happy birthday, my very real Grandmother. Thank you for all the very real memories.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

She does look tired, but that also serves to show up the beautiful, elegant lines of her face, as she looks unself-conscious, pensive, a little drawn. The group picture is brightness and jollity!