I met this lady over half my life ago. I was the high school sweetheart of her son, who was the quarterback while I cheered him on. She was fiercely proud of him no matter what. She was pregnant when I met her and a year later her baby girl was taken by SIDS. I saw her live through that.
She was already a grandma when we met. And the grandkids didn't stop for awhile, with 4 being born in 1992, including my oldest, Ty. She was always proud to be a grandma. She would show off her grandkids to everyone and introduce them as "my grandbabies" even when they were taller than her. She loved my daughter and sure didn't help when it came time to get rid of her nickname, Emma Beans.
She used to tell everyone that before Emma Beans became a teenager, she would have to buy a shotgun to scare the boys away. Emma hung around her so much, she started to act like her grandma. We used to tease her that she became a drama queen like her and scared of spidas.
She developed a southern accent from her husband who was born and raised in Alabama. I never realzied how deep her accent was until sge sent my teenage son to the convenience store for a "bag of ass." He said "What?" She said "Ass." he said "Ass?" And everyone laughed.
Her husband used to say she was as bad as one of the kids. Every get together would include her chasing the kids around and around like she was 12 years old. About 3 Easter's ago, I blogged about a hard boiled egg fight in the park. Yup, she was the one who started it and then laughed through the whole thing.
She helped me out so much when I was her neighbor, she babysat, washed our clothes, helped cook, clean and everything you could ask for in a mother in law. Even though she hadn't been my mother in law for years. She still introduced me to everyone as her daughter in law.
Out of everything I remember the most, I remember when my step dad died. I hadn't talked to her for maybe three weeks or so over some stupid reason. Which goes to show, life is too short to not talk to people. The day after he died she was knocking. I opened my door and she just hugged me and it was the first time I felt like I could cry. She held me while I did.
"When you need bread, let me know." That's how it is around here. Every wake and funeral is filled with food and people come together. The night before his funeral we made bread. I watched her make the dough. She has a method that could be considered an art form. I noticed this a few years earlier when she made pies for Thanksgiving. She treats the dough with such care and heart, no wonder it always turned out perfect.
Today I will remember that when I make bread for her. All my heart will go into it, the way she showed me. And I will make bread for her.
Rest in Peace Grandma KK. You will be missed.
*might submit for my column*