Monday, February 11, 2008

so much love to give

Grandpa and Grandma on their wedding day

My grandmother died tonight. I've been trying to write something eloquent, one of those devastatingly poetic love letters that people manage to pull out of their asses on TV. But "it really sucks that I am never going to be able to talk to her again" just isn't poetic or eloquent.

I loved her. (I love her.) I love that I made her laugh. I love that she liked when I called her "crazy lady." I love that her bras and underwear always matched her outfit. I love that she hated to leave the house without "putting her face on." I love how soft her earlobes were. I love that she called me "Pumpkin."

I love that I was able to go for a road trip with her when she was 80 and that I had to tell her not to drive so fast. I love that she made me "the white stuff" (cream of wheat) or bananas and sour cream with a sprinkle of sugar on top. I love that when her memory was starting to go she still remembered the name of the guy who taught her how to drive when she was 16.

I love that she flirted with waiters -- or with my friends. I love that she invited my mom and my step dad -- 25 years after Mom divorced her son -- to her house for Thanksgiving. I love how much she loved my dad and my aunt. I love that she told me that I was "born to wear fur" when I was eight and I tried on her mink coat. I love how she bragged about how tight her abs once were. I love that she told me she was proud of all that I had accomplished -- on my own.

Ruth Fields, fashion goddess

I love the spoon ring that she gave me that I have been wearing every day since I was 18. I love that she nonchalantly mentioned that she had seen my tattoo, when I had been hiding it from her for more than 10 years. I love the green suede suit and stiletto heels that she wore to her 75th birthday party. I love how much she loved her brother Stan and how proud she was of her mom and dad. I love that she let me pull out the box of photos every time I went to visit her and would tell me who every random person was and how they were related to me.

I love her bells and her blue lady and her Lladros. I love her matzo ball soup. I love that she was the old lady who worked the polls every Election Day and got excited about the lunch they gave her. I love that she couldn't bear to watch George W. Bush on television. I love her stories about how Grandpa really knew how to buy her beautiful clothes. I love how proud she was of being a teacher.

I love that she just wanted me to be happy.

I love that she had so much love to give.

I love that she always thought she would be healthy and agile (and have tight abs) again and I hope that, somewhere, she is -- and does.

Grandma and Amy, November 2005
(I pray I look that good when I am 89.)


Hillary said...

Thank you for sharing. Call it what you want, it's a devastatingly poetic love letter to me. Our hearts are with you.

Nedra Weinreich said...


That was incredibly eloquent, and painted a picture of an amazing lady. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your many wonderful memories will sustain you through this difficult time.


Chris Lloyd said...

She's obviously very much alive in you. Wonderful.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing us to your grandmother and giving her a voice that goes beyond her physical being. Your testimony of her life is part of being human and loving. I am grateful to be introduced to her through your story.

Daniel said...

that. is amazing.

Scott Battishill said...

What a wonderful lady. So sorry for your loss.

kristen said...

I'm sorry - I know how important she was to you.

cdgutierrez said...

I wish I could see the green suede suit.

Amanda said...

I just wanted to echo the sentiments above - this is an eloquent, loving tribute. My grandmother passed away over 5 years ago and I still think of her all the time; I also think of my other 3 grandparents, who died when I was in my teens, and who I never got to know as an adult. That's one of my greatest regrets. You're lucky that you got so much time with her.

abf said...

Thanks to everyone who came by to say hi and meet my grandmother. It helped.

mindy said...

Thanks for sharing your grandma with us. She sounds amazing and it's clear how much you love her.

PS- Stilletos at 75 is inspiring!

Catch Up Lady said...

Amazing post ABF.

It will inspire all of who walk around in baggy butt drawers/crappy bras (but fab shoes) to go the distance and get there - not to mention internalize all the other beautiful points you bring up.

Thoughts are with you.

Ray said...

Almost a year after you wrote this, and I'm reading it for the first time. A timeless post about a wonderful woman. I'm sure she'll looking down as you all gather 'round to remember her.