Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Who she was from a granddaughter’s eyes

She was my Grandma and Monday she took her last breath on this earth.
Her voice will be forever etched in my mind, along with various other sounds that will remind me of her:
  • The creek of the kitchen floor in their home
  • Her metal rolling pin clinking on the counter as she made tortillas,
  • Kitchen chairs being pulled back from the table, a making room for another family member who popped by to say hello.
  • Her soap operas in Spanish
  • The clink of poker chips when my aunts and uncles got together to play cards and the laughter and playful arguing that was intermixed
She was an amazing caregiver, even from an early age, when she should have been enjoying her childhood; instead she stepped into the role of caring for her family after her mother's death. I remember many stories of how she watched her aunts, and figured out how to make certain meals, and oh did she ever learn out how to cook. Her tamales and tortillas are infamous. Even though her life circumstances prevented her from obtaining higher education, she was an avid learner and expected her children to embrace the education they were allowed to have.

One day she told me about how she saw my grandpa in her neighborhood and knew she was going to marry him. In fact she remembers thinking, "I'll catch him." She was feisty woman and indeed she did catch grandpa and together they raised 8 children and she has supported and loved each of them over the years. She would do anything for her family, and I know a little piece of her heart left along with her two children who preceded her from this earth.

Over the years I've admired much about this woman. Her home was always open in fact I rarely remember ringing her doorbell, the cookies in the cookie jar were always fresh, there were too many visitors for them to ever go stale. Her hospitality skills astound me, she always had something on the stove ready to be served to her guests, and there was rarely a time I've ever escaped a visit without consuming something. Her home was never too full when the family got together, it just felt right, it was certainly loud but everyone was welcome. She was also a sweet giver, and was always thinking of others as she watched her beloved QVC. A year never passed without a birthday card from her, and she had so many grandchildren.

But the biggest thing that I have gleaned from her is how to love and support your family well, to embrace their uniqueness and love them despite their sins and to always open your arms wide to them. Family is a gift and it was so apparent that it was a priority of hers.

Thank you Grandma for those lessons! She will be missed, but I'm so honored to be a part of her lineage.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Oh Erica Dawn. So sorry to hear about your grandma. Nan's b-day was Monday...must be something about two great women. Love you.