Posts Tagged ‘grandma’

My Grandma

My grandma died in late January of 2007 but had she lived, she would have been 106 years old today, February 23. She had three children that collectively gave her 14 grandchildren. Those grandchildren gave her 32 great grandchildren and at the time of her passing, she had somewhere near 14 great great grandchildren.

I grew up in San Jose, California (near San Francisco) and my grandmother lived in Corpus Christi, on the Texas gulf coast. When I was growing up, I only saw her once a year. She would get on a Greyhound bus in Texas and take the three day ride to San Jose. She would stay with us for at least two weeks each summer, sometimes longer. For a long time, we were the only grandchildren she had in California so we got to keep her to ourselves. Later, my uncle moved there too so we had to share Grandma with those cousins. She always brought an extra suitcase that was filled will surprises for us kids and when she went back home, it would be filled with souvenirs and trinkets that she got in California during her visit. That was actually one of the things we loved about Grandma coming to visit us…when she was visiting, we would take her everywhere, even places where we didn’t get to go when we didn’t have her for company. We would go to Fisherman’s Wharf, to Playland At the Beach (which is no longer there but was an amusement park right across the beach in San Francisco), across the Golden Gate Bridge, and to all the tourist spots along the way. We would also go south to Santa Cruz to the Boardwalk on the beach there and to Half Moon Bay and Monterey. We took her to visit some of the California missions, too.

Then when it was time for her to go home to Texas, we would pile in the car (there were 10 of us including my parents and my grandmother) and drive her to the Greyhound station where we would all stand and wave and cry as her bus drove off and the long wait until the next summer began.

In between visits, we got birthday cards from her and I remember that she always sent a a $2 bill. Two dollars, although not a fortune, bought a lot more in the 50’s and 60’s than it does today and honestly, just because it was from Grandma, it meant a lot to us.

I miss her. I did drive from San Jose to Corpus Christi with the three kids once time. I wanted them to meet her and her to meet them so we made the long drive, taking it a little slower because it was just me driving and I stopped often to let the kids run around and stretch so it took us four and a half days. It was important to me. They got to meet their great grandmother and they saw the house where their grandmother grew up in and where I had visited as a child.

Happy birthday, Grandma.

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If you are reading this on a reader, open up the url and come see my new header!

Note: Of course, my header has changed but it was a picture of my first grandchild.  I don’t usually use the entire picture when I post pics of my children or grandchildren, just a little glimpse.  I’m adding the picture here…


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One Last Time

It was dark yet there was no denying that I had found the right house. It had been painted two different shades of green and there was a wheelchair ramp in the front but it was still the same house I had seen the last time I had been there to see Grandma, twelve years before. I was here to see her one last time, to say one final good bye.

Corpus Christi has some very beautiful sections. I love the oceanfront. That’s my favorite place to visit but this time I was not here for a vacation. I was here to bury my Grandma and to help my mother get through the loss of her mother. This was the toughest trip I had made in a long time. As I parked the rental car, I took a deep breath as I braced myself for the difficult days ahead.

Two days later, when we found ourselves with a block of time before we had to be back to the funeral home for the rosary, Mom asked Uncle Joe to drive us to the waterfront so that I could see how it had changed. I enjoyed that short tour of the T-heads and the waterfront, and the historic-homes-turned-museums, but there was an underlying heaviness and sadness marring the excursion. Somehow, underneath it all, I think each of us knew that we would never return here again. That unspoken knowledge weighed heavily on our minds as we each tried to soak it all in and engrave the view onto our minds.

The sky was a clear blue, just a couple of shades lighter than the ocean. The wispy clouds mirrored the foam on the sea’s waves. Palm trees bent in the wind. A tug boat pulled a barge through the narrow inlet of water. Seagulls screeched as they swooped around us. The traffic rushed by on the bridge high above us. We were the only ones aware of our pain, grief, and the heaviness of our hearts as we walked to the car and headed back to the house that held Grandma’s presence even though she would never be there again.


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Happy Birthday, Grandma

Saturday would have been my grandmother’s 98th birthday but she died on January 26th.  I was supposed to drive my mother from Hemet, California to Corpus Christi, Texas.  That was actually a drive I was looking forward to.  I love to drive.  I would have loved to have seen my grandmother one more time.  We were going to have cake and family over.  Instead we had a small reception after the funeral, at the church.  No cake.  No music.  My grandma always said she didn’t want “a party” when she died so we kept it small, simple, just finger foods and sodas, and family.

I’ve found myself kind of down these days and I think it has to do with the fact that I’ve been thinking about how I should be on a happy trip to see her now, and not looking at pictures and calling up memories of the funeral and the days around it.

She did live a long, long life.  Of that I am happy.  My grandmother lived 97 years, 11 months, and 3 days.  She left 2 sons and 1 daughter, 12 of her 14 grandchildren (2 of my brothers having passed many years ago), 37 great grandchildren, and 21 great-great grandchildren.

Ninety-seven years is a long time, yet not enough.

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Religious Stuff

I’m not a religious person.I don’t go to any church.I don’t pray.I don’t practice any particular faith.I was raised Catholic until second grade.I was baptized a Catholic but I did not complete any of the other sacraments.We stopped going to church when I was around seven years old.

I’m not sure what I believe with regards to God, Christ, heaven, hell, and all tat stuff.However, I respect others’ feelings, beliefs, and faith. (more…)

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Grandma’s Sandals

[Note: My grandmother is 97. Yesterday I got word that she has very little time left. Funeral arrangements have been made. I am flying out to Texas later today. This is a story I wrote about the times my grandma used to visit us when I was a little girls. It is part of a collection of short stories. I am posting it here to share a little of my grandma with you. I hope you enjoy it.]

Every year, in the summertime, my grandmother comes to visit us all the way from Texas, where she lives.My grandfather drives her to the bus station in Texas and three days later, we go to the bus station here, to wait for her and to bring her home with us.She stays for two or three weeks and then she is gone again, til the next summer. (more…)

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