In which my grandmother is awesome.
My father’s mother is 93 years old and quite sprightly for her age. Since my grandfather’s death when I was little, she lives alone in the house where they raised six children; fortunately it is all one level and carpeted. She keeps a cat, and people are scheduled to check in on her every day. Much of her large extended family lives within 10 – 20 minutes’ drive. I wish that I did. She still drives, somewhat, though she won’t drive with her grandchildren or great-grandchildren in the car (for fear of something happening to them if she dies at the wheel) (which seems strange to me but oh well). Her car is a boat, as I should know since I drove her around in it the last time I was there. She doesn’t really travel anymore but did in the past, all over the place.
She speaks her mind and is always taking classes through the university adult education center to keep herself amused. She has taken classes on Winston Churchill, conversational Spanish, Shakespeare, the stock market; usually a few classes every year. She says she doesn’t like to go to the senior center because people there just talk about their aches and pains.
She walks slowly but upright on her artificial knee. At home she holds on to things and in public she will use a cane if she has to walk any appreciable distance. Her six children all got married and collectively produced 16 grandchildren. Many of those grandchildren are now old enough to have children of their own, and have produced my grandmother’s 8 great-grandchildren (with another on the way soon). Our grandmother recently had some physical therapy so that she can get down on the floor more easily and play with them.
My grandmother has a cell phone, email, and is on Facebook. She rides a stationary bicycle while she watches her soaps. She does the crossword puzzle every day. I recently heard the story of how she almost got engaged to another man in the 1940s but put him off until my grandfather proposed. In her youth, she lived in Puerto Rico for a while, flirting with military men and learning Spanish, working as a secretary. Her sister was a professional ice-skater before her marriage.
She likes her Scotch before dinner. At my cousin’s graduation party several years ago, she got some frat boys to assist her in a keg-stand. I wouldn’t believe it, but there are pictures.
There is a large field behind her house. Occasionally mice come in her house. The first one woke her up in the middle of the night and, unlike me, she was stalwart. She smashed it with her big flashlight and flushed it down the toilet. Later, she was talking to her daughter on the phone when she saw another one. That mouse she smashed with the phone, and then called her son to come dispose of it and set some traps.
I hope she lives forever.
Tell us about your favorite (older) relatives.