Grandma Sylvia

I’m reading Writing Down the Bones.  In it, Natalie Goldberg has suggestions of what to write about for writing practice.  One topic is to Describe a Grandparent.  So, here goes nothin’, Peeps…

My mom’s mother, Sylvia, passed away just over 10 years ago.  I miss her every single day.  This is a very strong statement considering I’ve unfortunately lost a lot of loved ones in my life.  For some reason, I find myself quoting her, thinking of her, wishing she was here, pretty much each day.  She was our regular babysitter growing up, and after my Dad passed away, we spent many weekends at Grandma’s house during my early teen years.  She was the glue that held our extended family together.  She is missed.

The smell of baking cinnamon reminds me of Grandma.  She was always worried about losing weight, but would bake coffee cake for breakfast.  It was delicious too.  I blame my need for something sweet for breakfast on Grandma.  I seem to remember there was an exercise bike in her basement, but I can’t imagine her ever using it.  Maybe it belonged to one of my aunts.  Haha.  Grandma was not the fitness buff.  I inherited that gene from her too.  And her housekeeping (or lack thereof) gene.

Like most people, chicken soup means comfort to me.  It also brings Grandma to mind.  I remember many times when I was sent home sick from school, after Mom would drop me off, Grandma would tuck me under a homemade afghan and Grandpa would turn on All My Children and we’d all eat Lipton’s Instant Chicken Noodle soup with extra noodles.  When I was pregnant with the twins, I was cursed with horrid morning sickness.  One of the only things I could keep down was instant soup like Grandma used to make.

Speaking of the twins, whenever they ask me to rock them and sing to them, I am reminded again of my Grandma.  Almost all the songs I sing to Lala and Loopsy I learned on Grandma’s lap.  Of course, Mom sang to me too, but who do you think she learned those songs from?    One song in particular was quite morbid, if you listened to the lyrics, but I was always soothed hearing it.  “Captain, captain build me a boat.  And down the river I will float.  And on every ship that passes by, I will see if my Willy’s coming home.  Oh Captain, captain tell me true.  Does my dear Willy sail with you?  Oh no, he does not sail with me.  He has drowned in the deep blue sea.”  So sad.  Poor Willy.

I hate egg salad.  But still, whenever Hubby makes it, I remember sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table and watching her slice hard boiled eggs with that handy dandy egg slicer gadget.  I loved watching her make club sandwiches too.  She’d make them like an assembly line, and she’d always sing or hum while doing so, with a twinkle in her eye and her foot tapping along.  Grandma was often humming.  Unless of course she was pissed at Grandpa.  She was the queen of silent treatments.

Probably the most visceral memory I have of Grandma is sitting next to her on her sofa, watching tv, resting my cheek on her arm, my hand in hers.  Grandma was very cozy.

I miss her.

2 thoughts on “Grandma Sylvia

  1. I haven’t read “Writing Down the Bones” yet but it’s on my to-do list and this writing prompt certainly makes the endeavor so much more enticing. I too have great memories of my grandparents – though fortunately, I still have some years left with them.

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