Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grandma's Wine Glass


When my Grandmother moved from her senior citizen apartment into a nursing home, she wanted to divide up her belongings. She knew she would have no room to store her things. She began earmarking her possessions for her loved ones. I wanted nothing to do with any possible bickering over who was going to get what, so I went into my cocoon. I could not escape her gaze. Resistance was futile and she insisted that I have something. I asked if I might have her little wine glasses. A big smile grew on her face when I said it. Everyone else thought I was joking. I wasn't. She was over the moon that I wanted them.

My Grandmother's wine glasses were acquired one by one. Each was a freebie with a fill up at the local gas station. She thought it was terrific that she would be given a free wine glass for filling up her tank. We didn't have the heart to tell her she was likely paying for the glass in the process of paying the price per gallon. That wasn't the point. My Grandmother had the most grateful heart of anyone I've ever known. She was delighted to be alive... serving her Heavenly Father and spreading her love and gratitude like pixie dust over her family.

I remember a time when Grandma was given a giant block of government cheese. You would have thought she had died and gone to heaven. She said to me, "Danny, can you believe they gave this to me? I'm the luckiest person I know."

As an adult, I tried to visit my Grandma as often as I could. I lived in Michigan and she in Minnesota. I would blow into town and insist that I take her out to dinner at a nice restaurant. I would have taken her anywhere. "Money is no object, Gram. Where do you want to go? Let's make it a *nice* place." She'd say, "I'd like to go to Old Country Buffet." And I'd reply, "Come on, Gram! Pick someplace NICE!" Grandma would say, "That's what I like. And it IS nice." We'd always argue about it (in a fun way) and we'd always end up going to Old Country Buffet.

My Grandma has been gone for quite a few years now. She lived to the ripe old age of 94. Every year on her birthday, March 10, I take myself out to eat at Old Country Buffet. Just me. I think about how much I love her and how much I miss her. And every year after I have my meal at OCB, I walk up to the cash register with a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes….just like I have at this moment…..

I am so grateful she was my Grandmother….and to have her wine glasses…that she was so grateful for...that she held in her hands….and held to her lips….

I pray she knows how much I admired her for her attitude of gratitude.

We should all be so lucky.



Jay said...

Oh my. You knew that one would get me, didn't you?

For me, it's George's grandmother. She is, without question, the best person that I have ever known.

We have a chair that sits in our bedroom that sat in her living room... it's gawdy, gold velvet, victorian style... really lovely, and matches nothing in our house - but I'll never get rid of it, I'll never recover it. It was her favorite chair and is my favorite one now too.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do has been watching her wilt. It seems like weekly they find new tumors in her frail little body. As much as I love her and will miss her - I can't wait for her to see her husband and her family again. I can't wait for her pain to be gone.

Thanks for sharing this, I totally understand where you're coming from. Very few things in the world are more precious to me than that gold velvet chair.

Dan said...

I had a feeling I'd be hearing from you, Jay. I know where your heart is. And I've seen some of the pictures you've posted of her. She's a beautiful lady.

Wander to the Wayside said...

What a sweet post, Dan! I read somewhere that 'death ends a life, but not a relationship', and that appears to be true. .

I'm hoping that my two grandsons (4 and 7) will one day remember me this way. We already have a game going as to who will get what, probably because I'm always saying "when I'm gone, I want you to have this to put in your home to remember me by"...and now they will automatically say, when I'm telling them the history of something, "mawmaw, when you're gone I want this to remember you by".

I can just imagine how tickled she was that you choose those glasses,knowing that you knew what they meant to her.

Dan said...


I love your "death doesn't end a relationship" line. I couldn't agree more - In fact, I'm living that....


Karen Denardo said...

Grandma was the best Grandma ever, I tell everyone I know about her and the times she came and made us all caramel rolls. When she came
it was all about us. Cards, skitch, caramel rolls and Her love.

I miss her just as much now as ever. Some day we will all be together again.

: ) Karen D.

Dan said...

Amen, Sister.

Ron said...

Bro, I had a lump in my throat while reading this one!!!

Bless her soul! She reminds me of my infactuation with Buffet King!!!

It's the simple things in life that make life so beautiful and worth living for--and she was definately no stranger to that! Wish there were more people on earth like her...

Dan said...

Let's go, man. I'm buyin', bro.