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Remembering Grandma

April 21, 2013

One of the few photos I have  of me and my Grandma. Circa 1984-ish.

One of the few photos I have of me and my Grandma. Circa 1984-ish.

Recently I found myself driving down a road I haven’t traveled in quite awhile. I used to travel that road almost every day…driving back and forth from seeing my Grandma in in the nursing home. In case you don’t know, that woman had a huge impact on my life. She practically raised me and I think if it hadn’t been for her, I’d probably be living a whole different life than I am right now. Matter of fact, I probably wouldn’t be able to even form an intelligible sentence if not for her. I also wouldn’t have a huge guilt complex, but that’s neither here nor there.

Driving down that road in the dark, as I did so many nights that year she was sick, left me with a deep sadness.  And then it struck me. It was exactly this time of year, 9 years ago that I was making that drive every night, essentially waiting for her to die. I struggled with the thought, but yes, it HAS been that long. Some days, it seems as if it just happened.

My Grandma, probably like most women, had a way that things had to be done. If you didn’t do the things you were supposed to do the right way, you’d find yourself doing them again. I learned this lesson the hard way at the Big Bear grocery store. Each week, she’d take the Big Bear ad from the newspaper and circle the items she wanted, hand me some cash, and send my on my way to the grocery to pick up said items. I’d head down the alley over to Central Center Shopping Center, on foot. I couldn’t have been more than 8-years-old the first time she did this. Can you imagine sending your 8-year-old kid to the grocery store on foot with a wad of cash? Oh, and sometimes I had an 8-pack or two of returnable (glass!) Diet 7-Up bottles to cash in to boot. Apparently, I was a very dependable 8-year-old. Then again, the year before that, she sent me off to walk to school in a BLIZZARD. Now that I think about, maybe she hated me…. (kidding Grandma!).

So, there I was in Big Bear, at 8-years-old, pushing a cart, looking at the circled items on my list. And naturally, I did what any 8-year-old would do when they couldn’t find one of the circled items, I skipped on to the next item. Most of the circled items were sale items, so the store was bound to be out of a good bit of the shit I was supposed to pick up. One cool thing Grandma always did, though, was give me a little extra money just in case I saw something we needed that caught my fancy. This money was always spent in the bakery, and since we shared a love of sugary treats, maybe it wasn’t so unplanned on her part… On a side note, I always picked the thumb-print cookies, with the dollop of sugary icing in the middle, and if they were sold out, I got the crème horns.

So after I cashed in the bottles and picked up the stuff I could find, I’d head back down the alley to her house and await my approval for doing such a good job at the grocery store.

“Where’s the Oscar Meyer bologna that was on sale?” she said.

“Oh, they were out of that,” I replied.

“Did you get a rain check?”

The dreaded rain check! No, I didn’t get a rain check. What 8-year-old thinks about rain checks? I just wanted to get home to eat my thumbprint cookies and apply the fake tattoos and wear the plastic gemstone rings I got with the change from the dime machine at the entrance of the Big Bear.

“You have to go back and get the rain check,” Grandma said.

Looking longingly at the thumbprint cookies on the kitchen table, I begrudgingly grabbed the Big Bear circular and headed back down the alley… If only life were like shopping at the Big Bear in 1979. I’d get a rain check for one more afternoon with Grandma.


In Loving Memory of Grandma Deany

7.21.22 – 4.21.04








One Comment leave one →
  1. Randle permalink
    April 22, 2013 2:53 pm

    Rain checks will have a whole new meaning now… There are a few ‘checks’ I’d like too. Thanks for sharing this Michelle

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