Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Wish You Would Have Met Her

I watch intently as my grandma sits on her vanity bench, carefully applying her makeup. She puckers up as she puts her lipstick on and it makes me giggle. With one hand she gently touches up her hair while she bats her eyes at the mirror. She is beautiful, and I am mesmerized by her. She looks at me and asks if I want some blush for my cheeks. I nod and cuddle close to her while she applies the pink color to my face. I smile and gaze into her hazel eyes.

My grandma and I sing together in the car. We have our own special and favorite songs. She is the only one that never criticizes my singing. I feel so free, so accomplished. I love our car rides together.

Once, my grandmother gets pulled over. The officer approaches the car and my grandmother bats her beautiful eyes at the young officer. He shakes his head with a smile and tells her to “be careful.” He too, has fallen to her charm. I understand, for I am under the same spell and will do anything for her.

My grandmother sings on the stage at one of her recitals. She wears a long, velvety, maroon dress. A grand piano in the background and a full house of spectators, all gathered to hear her sing. She invites me up on stage and I hold on to her leg. I am so proud of her. And she is mine, my grandma.

We sit on her bed, playing “kitchen.” I think she has just as much fun as I do. I forget that she has a weak heart, and that she needs rest. We laugh together, and I offer to put on a play for her. I perform and she claps for me, she tells me it was the best act she has ever seen.

Sitting on a kitchen stool I watch as my grandma separates the yoke from the white. One smooth motion as she cracks the egg and separates its contents. She pours the yoke into a small china cup and dumps a couple of teaspoons of sugar and hands it to me. I enjoy the sweet treat while she continues to bake. Later, we make flour tortillas together. We like to spread butter and sprinkle sugar on them. It is our weekend tradition.

My parents say I am being disobedient. She asks, “Ellen, won’t you do that for me?” I do, I do in a light year second, no questions asks.

I grow up, and find that I cannot stop talking to my grandma about life. I want to know what she thinks, I want her advice. She listens, she asks questions, and then I lay down with her as we watch a Mexican soap. She needs some rest, but her presence is peaceful, comfortable, and familiar. She has always been there for me.

She greets my husband with a hug and a kiss. She tells him “Pero que guapo eres mi chulo!” forgetting Andy understands some Spanish and loving that she calls him handsome. She says she is proud of me, of how I have lived my life. I want her to be proud.

I see her sitting on a chair looking outside her window, watching as birds fly by. A rosary in her hands and her lips moving. I know she woke up early and has been praying for her family, for me, my husband, my girls. She has always prayed.

Today she has closed her eyes for the last time. She celebrated her homecoming in Heaven, the life of the party. I imagine her hazel eyes sparkled as she met Jesus. Her heart, always weak, has now been restored.

But I miss her. Oh how I miss her. I wish you would have met her; you too, would have fallen to her charm.


  1. Oh Ellen, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful woman. Clearly she had a hand in helping raise another such as her! I'm not surprised she was proud to call you her grand daughter, and she is now smiling down from the heavens at your beautiful family.

  2. So sorry for your loss. Both my grandmother's passed away last fall in a period of 3 weeks so I know what you are going through. I will be praying for you.

  3. Kathleen10:10 AM

    Ellen, I am sorry to hear about your loss!

  4. That was a beautifully written and poignant remembrance. I am so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing her with us.

  5. What a beautiful story! Grandmas can be such precious parts of our lives. I'm sorry for your loss.

  6. What a precious witness to the love she showed you and passed on to you, as shown in your love for your girls...travel safely my friend. Big hugs from our house...

  7. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother; I'll keep your family in my prayers. But your grandma sounds like a wonderful woman, someone I indeed would have loved to meet. What a blessing to have her in your life all these years!

  8. Praying for you, My Friend...that you can find some comfort during this sad time. But, how wonderful is it, that you know you will one day be with her again?!! Blessings! JO


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