earlier this year my maternal grandmother (a.k.a. grammy) passed away. of course, I was deeply saddened by her passing. I loved both of my grandmothers very much (my paternal grandmother, a.k.a. granny, passed in 2009).
one of my funniest and most distinctive memories of my grammy is hosting a “tea party” for her with my little tea-set… where the “tea” was really bubblegum-flavored toothpaste mixed with water. and grammy, good grandmother that she was, didn’t even bother to pantomime drinking that nasty brew—she actually sipped it down and asked for seconds! I felt so validated and taken seriously… well, as much as a 5 year old can!
she was a very sweet lady whose taglines included “loves and kisses and hugs around the neck” and “good things come in small packages, but so does poison.” she referred to nearly all her grandchildren—and she sure had a lot—as “honeylove.”
she was a Jersey girl of Irish heritage who had a husband she passionately loved (their love letters were ridiculously sweet, devoted and romantic, and sometimes even steamy!), and with whom she had 12 (!) children. she never re-married after my grandfather’s untimely passing in the 1960s, saying “once you’ve had the best, you don’t need the rest.”
she had a complicated life, with no shortage of challenges (for starters, being a widow with 12 children!), but she was a loving, caring lady, with an unshakable faith, and a sense of humor, and she did the best she could.
after her rosary and funeral services, a few of us family ladies sorted through her pictures and letters. it was a respite from the emotional rigor of laying a loved one to rest—she kept so many pictures, and it was wonderful to peek into the past, looking at the old photos (which I had never seen), and reading her and my grandfather’s letters.
we had the photos scanned, and I recently got my hands on the digital copies. the images in this post are my grammy when she was young, and I just love them. she is so lovely and stylish, so happy and spirited—looking at them makes my heart swell up to 3x its size.
(and they make me wish I could hop in a time-machine and ransack her closet!)