Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Grandma

As most of you know, my grandma passed away a week ago. It has been a very busy week and I have not had a chance to write much about her, the funeral and some things that are troubling me.

I am sitting here listening to Air1 and decided to jot down a few things. Some of this may be just for my sake to get to the next step. If you want to join me in the journey; please feel free to do so.

If there is anything in here that upsets family members who read this, shoot me a comment, give me a call or email me and I will edit this post. I don't think that there will be too much "junk" in here BUT, I have no clue what I am going to write yet, so something may spill out.

Remembering Her

In the sermon, Rick (minister) mentioned that one of the things that needs to be done is that you need to remember the loved one and keep the stories of her close to your heart. I have a lot of memories about her but there are some that stand out more than others. The funny thing about it is that there are 5 specific things that I remember from (about) her when I was very young ( 9 and under ). From 9 - 25, I remember general concepts and times. Then I remember/treasure when I would come home, go down to her house and shoot the breeze with her for about an hour or so. I will share the 5 stories with you. I will give you a heads up that 80% of them have to do with alcohol or bars :)

Story 1

When grandpa and her use to baby sit me when I was a little kid, they would take me to the local bar (Daily Double) and I would sit on the bar stool and have shrimp in the basket with fries and a Pepsi to drink and once in awhile, I got to play cards on the video machine.

Story 2

For a few years, she operated a bar. I would walk to her bar after school and she would kick everyone off the pool table and I would climb onto the pool table and take a nap.

Story 3

Super Bowl XIII. We lived on the 3rd floor. Her bar was on the first floor. In the bar, she had one of those grid boxes. The grid box had the numbers of one team 0-9 vertically and the numbers of one team 0-9 horizontally. You put your name in the grid and if the teams score ended in that number you won. I won. I had 5 and 1. The Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31. I won $ 50 (as an 8 year old). I didn't get to keep all $ 50 though, she made me buy beers for her customers - what is up with a minor buying adults a drink.

Story 4

Super Bowl XIV. This time, I was down on the 2nd floor with her in her place. I was watching my beloved Steelers beat the Rams. My parents were traveling down south. We were contemplating a move. I had always wondered what would have happened if we had moved to Alabama back in 1980. Life would have been very different; I am sure.

Story 5

This is probably why I don't like beer :) My grandma / grandpa would ask me to go in and get them a beer from their refrig keg. I could not pour correctly; too many 'suds'. So, they would make me sip them up. YUCK.

Alright, the stories are over. Now on to the other aspects of this post. While at the funneral, I was speaking to Lisa, one of my 1st cousins. I had no idea it was her but someone said, "hey there is Lisa". Now, I know who Lisa is but we grew up about 6 hours apart and seen each other maybe a dozen times. I had not talked to her or seen her since 1995, I do believe.

So, we were talking about our lives and what we have been doing. She told me where she was living and she told me about her kids and then I did the same thing. During the conversation, we both acknowledged how bad and sad it is that here we are - 1st cousins - and we have no clue about one another - nada. I mean, if I am being brutally honest - I really had no idea she was married and had 3 kids.

The thing that I believe is troubling about the situation is that we live in the 21st century. We have phones, cell phones, texting ability, emails, blogs, facebook, cars to drive and the list can go on ...YET we do not connect.

It saddened me that when my grandma's obituary was read and that it stated that she had 13 grand kids and 13 great-grand kids that I could not tell you who the grand kids were - let alone the great-grand kids.

I don't think that it should be this way and for 36 years of my life, I have not really done much about it. The sad thing is ... that even after the funeral and seeing most of the grand kids, I STILL can not rattle off the names ..SAD.

So, I decided to ask my YM friends if they knew their family members. The question, options and their answers are below:

Do you know the names of your family ( aunts, uncles, cousins ) ?

- I Know 100% of them - 11 votes (44%)
- I know 80 - 99% of them - 8 votes (32%)
- I know 60 - 79% of them - 2 votes (8%)
- I know 40 - 59% of them - 1 vote (4%)
- I know under 40% of them - 2 votes (8%)
- I have NO CLUE because I can not even tell you how many I have - 1 vote (4%)

Total Voters: 25

Well, lookie there. I am the only one that could not do it :(

Now that it over, let me move on to the next subject ....

Funerals !!

They amaze me. At times, I do not understand what occurs. I am not even ready to put into words yet what is churning inside of me. But there are two issues/situations that occurred that I just don't think are right ... maybe I will share more later.

Not today.


Amy said...

Actually, Jeff, I don't think I new that your grandma passed away. I was away and sort of lost track of things (that "mark all as read" feature is so nifty). I am so sorry about your loss, but I am happy that you and your grandma had some good memories.

On July 31, it'll be three years since I lost my grandma. I miss her dearly.

Jeff Greathouse said...


Yes, we received the phone call on Thursday while we were on vacation. i came back on Friday and the funeral was on Saturday.

thanks for the thoughts, I appreciate it. I do have good memories of her and I will treasure the few last talks we had - when I did not think that I would have any more.

The Thief said...

Hey, Jeff, I'll join you in the "I don't have a clue" category. When I was in high school, I went to visit my grandmother, and she had a couple there - she told me we were related. One of them said, "Oh, you must know our son, Matt, your cousin."

I did not know Matt. And we went to the same school.

I couldn't pick one single person out from my dad's side.

I only know my mom's siblings and their children (my cousins) but nobody else in the family.

That is sad, isn't it?

Jeff Greathouse said...

Thanks the thief. I apprciate you stopping by and giving me words.

I hope that I have enough "inspiration" to try to track some of them down and at least keep in contact a little.