Sunday, December 16, 2018

'Tis the season to be...something.

The holidays are hard for some of us.
Some suffer SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). For some their regular depression is intensified. Some introverts are already having anxiety attacks at the thought of peopling, whether with co-workers or family.
Some just can't stand to be around their eggnog-sotted relatives and/or be criticized/ignored/mocked.

I usually start feeling some depression and stress around the holidays mainly because
1. So very poor moneywise
B. Cannot buy gifts
III. Buying gifts is the only time I truly enjoy shopping of any kind, and it truly makes me happy

Besides all that, my last grandparent, my last grandma, passed away right around this time last year. Just barely before Christmas, in fact.
And I'm sure missing her hard right now.

She was in the hospital and managed care the last year or so of her life when she needed 24 hour care and the Alzheimer's got pretty bad.  I feel guilty for not spending more time with her - my only excuse is that I have a little boy (well, I know he's almost 24 but still my little boy) who also requires 24 hour care, and now that I'm old and he's heavier I can't manage him in & out of the van the way I used to.

Still. That doesn't make it easier.
ANYWAY I have drifted entirely away from what this whole post was supposed to be about, which was basically a HI GRANDMA, I'M THINKING OF YOU AND I MISS YOU A REALLY LOT.

I've told a few little stories about my Grandma she would tell me (I am the oldest grandchild) how when I was a baby and my mom & I lived with her & my granddad while my dad was overseas, she would rush home from work to sit and rock me, and she didn't care if anyone else had dinner or clean laundry because WELL I AM ME, AFTER ALL.

When my kids were babies, she did not trust me to do their laundry and would not let me use some 'cheap bargain basement detergent' on those PRESHUS BABIES, so she would send my granddad over twice a week to pick up the dirty laundry & blankets so SHE could wash them in Dreft detergent.
Hey, I had twins, both on oxygen and heart/apnea monitors so I was not going to argue.

In my family, mocking and sarcasm is how we show we care...and we care A LOT.
Like the year at Christmas we told grandma that we had numbered all her stories because she told them SO MANY TIMES at EVERY FAMILY EVENT ... so when she started to tell a story, one of us would shout out something like "ELEVEN!" or "THIRTY-THREE!" and we would all laugh hysterically while grandma said "I DO NOT LIKE YOU CHILDREN. BRATS."

Or the time we were looking at dresses (she was one of those kind of Baptists where they don't dance and the women don't wear pants, only dresses or skirts) and I pointed one out and she said
"But that's an old lady dress."
I said, "Well by definition, ALL your dresses are old lady dresses."
"I hate you. Brat."

Actually grandma wasn't one to dish out sarcasm, but she did love to laugh, even (and sometimes especially) if the joke was on her. She had no ego, and would laugh at the most ridiculous, nonsensical things.
Like her favorite joke, which wasn't even a joke, but one of us would always say it because we knew she would laugh and of COURSE then we would laugh.
"What did the bee say to the flower? I'm GONNA STING YOU."

Not even a joke, right? But always a guaranteed laugh from grandma.
And my uncle, king of sarcasm (and sort of mean, and often an asshole, but hey family) would say,
"Hey mom, come stand over here and let me take a group picture of you,"
which was TOTALLY dickish and rude but grandma laughed and laughed, because let's be honest, she was the closest thing to Mrs. Claus you'd ever see. Very short and VERY round and cute as a fuckin' button.
She loved telling that story too, and laughed every time.

If you're of A Certain Age, you've seen all the Brady Bunch episodes a fafillion times and you remember Jan & Aunt Jenny...wherein Jan finds an old photo of 'herself' that turns out is actually Imogene Coca in disguise as Aunt Jenny and OF COURSE Jan is a shallow little spoiled beyotch and doesn't want to be 'ugly' like Aunt Jenny even though Jenny is like super cool and popular.

So (TRUE STORY) when I was a teenager I found an old picture of 'myself' at around 5 years old that I later found out was actually MY GRANDMA, so naturally (me being me) at the next available opportunity I showed the photo to grandma and said SAY, HOW OLD WAS I IN THIS PICTURE? and of course she said it wasn't ME, it was HER...and I figure you can guess what happened next.
I pretended to cry and wailed DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO LOOK LIKE YOU WHEN I GET OLD??
"I hate you. Brat."
She said that to me a lot.
I have no idea why. Probably she loved me the best but didn't want anyone else to know and be jealous.

Her funeral was particularly hard for me, because it's one of the first funerals I've ever attended that I actually (sort of) wanted to get up and say something - but I was frozen in place and couldn't. Also I cannot possibly be trusted not to say something completely inappropriate because that's what I do.
I did manage to do the one thing I usually avoid at all costs because I feel it's a horrible, traumatic tradition...walking past the open casket at the end of the service.

But I wanted to say goodbye to my last little grandma, with her blue eyeshadow and pink lipstick and Estee Lauder Youth Dew scent.

I stopped to look, and remember, and when I whispered, "Hey grandma, remember that time you ruined Christmas when you died?" it was no surprise that I heard her laughter in my ear.
I'm pretty sure it was followed up with "I hate you. Brat."

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