You Left Me Too Soon, Grandma

Archive Project 001 Grandma circa 1905

Many of us in my generation reported in a few weeks ago where we were the day of the Kennedy assassination.

December 4th is another day like that for me, the day my grandma died. 52 years ago now but I can still remember all the details. I was playing at my friend Susie’s house after school.  Her mom received a call and then told me my dad would pick me up soon.  It was the first time I saw my dad cry.

Eleven years of imprinting was just not enough.  My mom tells me grandma would drive over in her ’52 Chevy and lay me on the passenger seat and take me back to her house for the day when I was just a baby. I, of course, don’t remember that but do have lots of memories of sleeping over at her house, drinking black coffee ( I was about 8!) with lots of sugar in Fiesta mugs, going “rock by rock” with her and my brother in a local creek.

She took me to my first movie, The Ten Commandments, and I remember huddling with her in her bed that night replaying the vivid scenes.  Munching on lattice potatoes at a local diner was another one of our special traditions.  I don’t remember having them since she died.

I so missed her during my turbulent teenage years knowing she would have been a steady voice more easily heard than my parents. She missed my wedding day, the births of our children, grandchildren and every other event of my life since 1961 and I still miss her.

She left me a couple of pieces of jewelry which I wear often, a quilt I watched her make, my favorite pair of scissors and her turkey platter in its original box (30’s? 40’s?) we pull out every Thanksgiving.

More significantly, before she left me, she did show me how to be a grandmother.  A skill I kept dormant for about 45 years but use all the time now.

Grandma has been on my mind even more this season because she died at the same age I am now.  She seemed so old and I feel so young.  How can that be?

Please join me in a virtual toast…To Opal Arlington White Wiewel…  Thank you for the memories and the legacy.  My grandchildren are grateful too!  Loved you.

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