My Grandma was born with a cleft lip – and as a result of the corrective surgery, she had a tiny little scar. It was almost undetectable but she was always a little aware of it. By the time I knew her, she had delivered 2 children by c-section so she had the tell-tale scar down her abdomen. That was before the cute little bikini line scars we have now. She was diligent about applying Oil Of Olay to combat wrinkles. She preferred contact lenses to glasses and often commented on how unattractive her varicose veins were.
She was a jogger and a vegetarian.
She wasn’t a vein woman but she did care about acting like a lady and presenting herself well and about living a healthy life.
I was sent a picture recently. A picture I had never seen before. What a treat to see myself sitting on my Grandma’s lap. In the picture I must be about 9 or so. 9 year old me, in my favourite of all places to be. On my Grandma’s lap.
I thought she was perfect. Scarred lip, glasses, wrinkles and all. Her strong legs and her soft curls and her slightly crooked teeth. The way her fingers were always gracefully positioned and that she was just as stunning – maybe even more stunning – even after she stopped colouring her hair and let herself go grey. I loved how her eyes sparkled. I loved her entire face. I wonder if I ever told her how beautiful I thought she was. I don’t think so.
That initial picture I got was quickly followed by a few more. Except for that first one, all the others were pictures of text. It seems there is a cook book that highlights the favourite recipes of notable Jamaicans and our family made it in there.
It would appear from reading the passages that the author actually visited our house. I wonder where I was. I should have been there. It sounds like they visited on a Sunday.
The book speaks of the drive from Kingston to our “country home”. They briefly mention her faith and upbringing and also how my Grandfathers family ended up living in that town. They offer a couple theories into how our street got its name. My Grandma thought it was named by an avid golfer while others think it got it’s name due to the many pot holes. The article quotes my Grandma as saying “We have our 10 year old grand-daughter living with us and it’s wonderful.” *Cue me getting teary eyed* Humbly she tells them that she is no expert but they note how evident it is that she has a green thumb. She did. I wouldn’t expect them to learn things about her like the fact that she loved a good foot massage or that she lost her original engagement ring years before I ever knew her; but I was a little surprised that her love of animals didn’t come up. She was so good with them. She trained all our dogs to come, heel, sit and “say please”. She even knew how to do that loud fingers-under-the-tongue-whistle thing that would make our dogs come running no matter how far they had wandered.
She tells them about her love of a good book, her and my Grandads charitable endeavours and his bird watching hobby. I had actually forgotten that he was a bird lover. It made me happy to remember that.
Then they dive into the food. Her creative ways of making veggie dishes and her fond memories of eating seafood in Vancouver.
You can’t even imagine how much I LOVED and appreciated receiving these pictures and reading those tidbits about our life. I basked in the memories – Both the ones that are still fresh and the ones that had to be triggered.
Life takes interesting turns. This I know. As pleased as I am to have found out about this hard copy piece of my history; this gift was from someone who is not connected to my Grandma in a positive way. It added something else that I cannot describe to my feelings about it all.
You can fill in the blanks any way you like.
Yeah, life is interesting all right. Wanna know what else though?
This weekend I’ll be making a frozen lemon pie. That was both mine and my Grandma’s fave dessert.