My grandmother to which I had been aptly named after held two degrees:
A black belt in foul language and a third degree burn from living life on the edge.
Grandma Ruth story number one hundred and thirty three:
You know…and I can tell you this because your grandfather is gone now. But sex…girls…isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. After fifty years of marriage I learned that eating crackers and doing the Sunday Morning Crossword puzzle while your Grandfather, God rest his soul, did his business, was all life really boils down to. You’ll learn you can core apples and plan the weeks grocery list also. If you have a mind to multi tasking.
She had explained the rules of a married sex life to my partner and I in hopes of pointing out the obvious: never take someone else’s joy away.
She on occasion was also known to cheat at Monopoly and dance semi naked on picnic tables…all for the pure enjoyment of it all.
It is only fitting that her demise last winter came ’round my demise…the dreaded closer to fifty than forty mark. Add to that I had been asked to give her eulogy. Top that off with my having received not so eloquently the neuro virus a day before said event. Spice it all up with my mixed emotions about being in a catholic church, at a podium with bad incense burning and vacant holy stares pushing back at me.
We visited Grandma Ruth today. Funny or ironic, really, looking for Quinn on a poetically religious headstone in an Irish graveyard just outside of Boston is eerily similar to looking for your under achiever vertically challenged partner at Mohegan Sun during rush hour traffic at the One Armed Bandit Penny slots.
Makes one wonder. The whole grieving process. The whole growing, learning, adding to the adult armor, avoiding closeness and than towards the end…wanting nothing but time to came back.
Many lovers…as I have had way too many…have offered this sage advice about my character faults”
You are like a cat with nine lives and anyone that joins your feral ways tends to find themselves as strays with no where to go.
Why is it a stone, a piece of granite, a name placed in awkwardly stoic but pleasing to the elder’s eyes…why is it we cannot begin to grieve without the pomp and circumstance?
I see my grandmother every time I watch Bad Santa the unrated version. I watch her slapstick moves as my dog humps a pillow. I secretly chuckle to self when lying naked in bed and think…I should go get some Ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter.
I read somewhere that the only thing important to your death is knowing you’ve made someone else remember you. Even if it is for just a split second. For that truly is all we are here for.
The avoided friendships. The missed opportunity at accessing things we want but know we shouldn’t have. Moments where we should have bought the Sunday paper, invited a friend into the bedroom and taught them how to core an apple. Can’t be found graveside. They are all roadside attractions to our life.
Ode to Grandma Ruth and her favorite dance tune:
I really do
The fact you’re
Your voice sounds
But your face don’t
Look to clear
So barmaid bring a pitcher
Another round of brew
Honey why don’t we get drunk and screw
Saturday morning found me itching to get on over to my grandma’s kitchen. Where the sweetest little berries was cooking up right. And then we’d put them in a canning jar and seal them up tight
We were making jam! Strawberry jam. If you want the best jam. You’ve gotta make your own
We have Smucker’s, Welches, Knotts Berry Farm. But a little homemade jam never did a body no harm. A little local motion is all that we need.To close down these corporate jam factories.
We have a little revolution sweeping the land. Once more everybody’s making homemade jam. So call your friends up on the telephone. Invite ’em over, make some jam of your own!
I should write a snippet about my grandmother!
Over yonder down by the dump…Grandmother and Grandfather taught me how to pick through the junk.
I had soiled baby dolls and discovered packs of rats. Through the pornographic Irish limericks and over the hills of waste rang the words ‘do not take more than you waste.’
Once back at the camp I learned to eat sardines with Gramps and cover it with cheese for taste. Right before the door to my nightmare opened it’s eyes. Watching from the table clad in checkered plastic and sitting at a splintered rocker…bringing me back down to right size.
A game of Monopoly with Grams as banker. Taught me to cheat, rob and pillaged everyone…as long as I said, Thank ya’.
Dysfunction is fun I’ve discovered. It is not something to fear yet only a set of directions to watch you haven’t a game.