Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is my paternal grandmother's birthday.

She is 89.

My Grandma B. lives in California. I haven't seen her since 1987 or thereabouts.

Before that, I saw her only a few times. She and my grandfather left Virginia during my first year of life and headed west in hopes of finding greener pastures.

All of my father's family went with them, except him. He stayed here. I don't know why.

Anyway, until I was 10 years old, my father's parents were folks I talked to on the phone a few times a year. They were people who sent me somewhat inappropriate Christmas gifts (because of course they knew nothing of who I was or what I liked to do.)

They visited when I was 10 and stayed several weeks. My grandmother and I did not connect as well as my grandpa and I did. Grandpa and I were cut from the same cloth, so to speak.

Grandma has a very loud voice and she likes to talk. She also likes to read and stay to herself. She was always nice to me, though.

When I was 12, my father drove us out to California to visit his family out there. The trip was long and when we arrived the family was in turmoil because one of my teenage cousins had run away from home. Again.

Unfortunately I have not been back since and I don't know when I might return. These days, since I have so much trouble with my ear (pain, dizziness, nausea) when I am driving up a mountain, I am afraid to fly. I can only imagine what that would do to me.

My grandparents returned again in 1981. They arrived in March and planned to stay through June to see my graduation from high school. I was very excited about that. Then after about two weeks my grandmother announced they had to go home. The reason she gave was because she was afraid no one was cutting the grass at the house.

Really, she was sick I think but I didn't know that. I was very hurt and quite unhappy with this particular state of affairs. Being 17 and thinking 17-year-old thoughts, I took it quite personally.

My grandparents returned again in 1987 and met my husband for the first time. That is the last time I saw them. My grandfather passed away two years later.

I called my grandmother yesterday to wish her happy birthday. I used to call quite frequently but in recent years she's been unable to hear me. She still lives alone so unless I think my uncle might be there I don't call. Instead I send her cards and letters and copies of the newspaper when we have a special edition and I've written lots of stories.

She was feeling pretty perky yesterday and she answered the phone herself. She said she could hear me fine. We talked for 45 minutes.

So Happy Birthday, Grandma B! I hope you have a great day.

5 comments:

  1. How wonderful! I'm thrilled you had such a good visit - even if it was over the phone.

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  2. Happy Birthday to your grandma..I'm happy you were able to have a good, long chat with her!

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  3. What a blessing that you were able to chat with her for such a long while---I'm sure that meant a great deal to her.

    Happy Birthday to your Grandma B.!

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  4. Happy Birthday to your grandma! Eighty-nine years old and still lives on her own- wow.

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  5. Happy birthday, Grandma B. My sister is 81; I can't believe it!

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