The Rest is Cake

Grandma

This is my grandma. She was awesome. I loved visiting her more than anything.

She lived in a little four room house. Along with two bedrooms upstairs, there was a big kitchen, which was also the dining room, the sewing room and the laundry room. There was one light above. Turned on or off by pulling the string. The refrigerator always held six bottles of Pepsi for us kids. And dad’s favorite beer.

The living room was heavenly. It smelled like cedar and comfort. The davenport was perpetually decorated by grandma’s latest crocheted afghan.  There was an ancient upright piano where we would entertain ourselves for hours, even though we only knew parts of three songs. Later on, grandma added a rocking chair and tv table for playing solitaire. African violets flourished on stands by the front windows.

The back porches both upstairs and downstairs were rooms for exploration and imagination. Filled with years of life’s collectings.

And in the little patch of land behind the house. A gigantic cherry tree and a honeysuckle bush. Whose flowers, somehow we actually sucked honey from.

Grandma’s husband, my mom’s father, passed away when my mom was 15. Grandma was a widow for 36 years. Almost twice as long as she was married. She worked until she was 72 years old at the Fredonia Seed Factory filling packets.

She sewed us flannel pajamas and always remembered special occasions with a card and two dollars. She visited us via Greyhound bus. A three-hour trip. And would always be sure to return before Monday. So that she could collect her Social Security check. She never missed church on Sunday and said the rosary daily.

She was the most simple, most kind, most easy-going person I have ever known. I love her with all my heart. To know today, that she has always embodied the lesson I have been searching for.

She never wanted more than she needed.

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