Let me first say, I had the BEST GRANDMA. Period.
She worshiped my sister and I. She did everything for us and I really do mean everything. I always gave people this example: When I got home from work at 11:30PM, My Grandma would wait until I threw my dirty uniform in a pile on the floor and pass out asleep, then she would sneak in my room, grab my uniform, Wash it, Dry it, Iron it and have it waiting for me on the back of my bedroom door when I woke up to start another double shift. Ok, folks, try to top that!
My Grandma lived by a different set of values than what we live by today. Family was everything to her. She was a working mom while my Father and Uncle were growing up. She was a waitress for 20 years at the Holiday Inn. She head waitress for years even featured in our local paper. Once she had steel plates put in her arm from all the years of waitressing, she slowed down outside the home but stayed busy inside. I hate calling these lessons, tips, or facts of life because my Grandma never sat down with me and said “this is how to live your life” but they are the things I miss most about her. The only downside to putting everything into your family for 50 years, is they can’t live without your once you are gone. I’m still crippled by the pain of losing her. I can’t look at a picture or go see her grave or even type this simply blog without being overwhelmed with grief. Some say I don’t grieve properly, maybe. (disclaimer, these are for my family only and are not meant to be the holy grail of children and family raisin’ other than mine.)
1. Love your kid unconditionally, no matter what. If they are wrong, listen to them and help them see it a different way. If they don’t, oh well, fix them an egg sandwich.
2. If your kid needs money, give it to him. Don’t give him a 30 minute lecture on life and spending. If all your bills are paid, you don’t need anything, give it to him. “Life is too short not to spend money on the things that I want.”-quote from my Grandma (being said to my Granddaddy)
3. My cab driver was shot and killed so if your son needs a sober ride to the club, drive him. And pick him up. Refuse to let him take a cab. Even if that means Daddy has to wait outside at 2:00am to get you. And make him an egg sandwich when he gets home…even though he will pass out before he can eat it.
4. Never yell at your kid to go to be. Tell him that if he doesn’t lay down, you will take your teeth out. And when he doesn’t lay down, take your teeth out and chase him around saying “Gimme some sugar, Come here” then make him some chocolate milk to help him sleep.
5. Always serve lunch. Make the sandwich with all the trimmings, with chips, and fruit and a drink. Then sit it down on the nightstand so they won’t be interrupted from the TV.
6. Always serve dinner. A full dinner with lots of meat, potatoes, vegetables and bread. Always feed the kid, but not Daddy if he hurt your feelings that day.
7. Always decorate for Halloween and give out candy even if you live on a steep hill and only 3 kids come by a year.
8. Make decorations with your kid and a buy a few, but mostly make ghosts out of Daddy’s hankerchief’s and make graves that have your daddy’s name on them for fun.
9. Go to every game at your kids school if they are on the team. Take them for treats afterward.
10. Always go to all the away games including the freezing, raining ones because you know they need an extra coat and they love seeing you in the audience.
11. Pick blackberries with your kids on the side of the highway. Don’t be offended when your kid tries to feed you to the watermocacin that ran across your path in a last ditch effort to save themselves.
12. Take them on journeys across the country to see everything you can. Washington DC, Missouri, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky. They are all great places. Pan for Gold as often as possible.
13. Take your kid to Bingo even if the winning prize is loaves of bread.
I’m sure I will add to this list as I think of things but this is all I can type while crying for now. The list goes on and on of what my Grandparents and my Grandma did for me. I’m lost without her. She is the one person that could wrap me in her arms and I felt safe from the cold, cruel world around me.