Monday, September 12, 2011


September 11 has been an important day for my family since long before 9-11. It was my grandmother's birthday, which is why yesterday was bittersweet.

I am the youngest child of my mother who is the youngest child of her mother. By normal definitions, I am separated from my mother by two generations and my grandmother by four. The interesting thing about her birthday having the shadow of a tragedy is that she had lived through a whole lot of deep American heartache in her 90+ years {The Great Depression. World War II. Major stuff.}, but her life was anything but tragic. In fact, after she died a few years ago, more people than I can remember told us how fun her funeral was. {Not in a creepy, morbid way. In a funny stories celebration of life kind of way. I can't make that sound normal, just trust me.} I wish I had the stories that were shared that day, but I'm not sure where they are, so instead I'll share a little diddy about her I will never forget. ;)

My grandmother's name was Dorothy {actually it was officially Dorotha, which I never understood}, and she said exactly what she thought every minute of every day {ohhh, genetics ;)}. As Bro Mike reminded us, she had two great loves in life - Joe {my grandfather...obviously} and cooking. Combine her love of butter and cream {Paula Deen had nothin' on my Grandma} and her childhood during the Great Depression, and she was always ready to feed you... a lot. If you didn't clean your plate, you were either ill or serious insulting her. Her love language was food.

Cue embarrassing story. Enjoy.


It was the first time I had taken Josh to Mountain Home, so naturally we went to see Grandma. Keep in mind while reading, we had not been dating for that long.

Now, one thing you never ever ever did was show up for a visit without a sweet treat of some sort for her in your hands. So we went to the Dairy Queen, got her a blizzard, and headed her way.

When we arrived, I introduced Josh and held my breath to wait for whatever questions she would have or honest thoughts she would share. My biggest concern at first was please don't call him the wrong name, please please Grandma, don't call him the wrong name.

She didn't. She didn't embarrass him at all.


Josh gave her the blizzard, she made sure her dentures were fully secure, and then with the sweetest little grin and southern accent said,

Well, I never was one to turn down chocolate.

"Me either, Grandma," I quickly replied.

Yeah, you do look a little thicker than you used to.


Oh, I'm turning red. Annnnd redder. Geminy crickets she did not just tell my relatively new boyfriend I look thicker. Yes, she did, and she meant it as the highest compliment. She followed it with,

I mean you used to just look your stomach was stapled to your backbone. {Let me assure anyone reading this that my stomach has never been in the remote vicinity of my backbone. This is where the Great Depression skewed her view :)}

I sat with Josh, mortified and sweaty, as she moved on to the next topic of conversation as if she had just mentioned the weather. I don't remember another thing she said, but I do remember that she was her usual charming, witty self and that she won Josh over in record time.


As much as I still giggle at thinking back on that day, a whole host of memories flood my mind when I think about her. Her most famous culinary delight was an incredible butter cake {appropriately titled, I assure you}. My grandfather was the love of her earthly life, and she told everyone who would listen {sometimes multiple times in a single conversation} about how wonderful the sixty years and eight months they had together had been. Most of all, she loved Jesus, and I would imagine she's made Him that butter cake by now. No calories in heaven, right? ;)

1 comment:

~L said...

September 11th was my grandpa's birthday also- loved reading your sweet and funny post about your grandmother!