Wednesday, August 6, 2008

...slowly turning into my Grandmother

So.... I realized today that I have finally turned into my Grandmother....

It's not as if it's come as real shocker, after all, the woman did practically co-raise me! It finally hit when driving back from dinner with my friend Amie and her family. I was sitting in the middle of the van, scratching my chest (okay my right boob). It was itchy, and for some reason felt like a different texture than the rest of my shirt... I reached into my shirt, threw my collar, and pulled out a Bounce Fresh Anti Static Dryer Sheet. I turned to Amie and said "what the hell is this, oh my god, I am officially my grandmother", to which we both started to laugh hysterically!

We both knew it was coming, the day when I finally admit that yes, I am a 82 year old woman, who refuses to wear a bra.

My Grandmother would pull all sorts of things out of her shirt (and yes bra). Kleenex, hand wipes, cash, dryer sheets, and my all time favourite: a pair of nylon stalkings, because you never know when you need to go from casual to formal.

I had always been close to my grandmother, right up until she passed away a year ago. We lost her to Alzheimer's disease, which ties with cancer for the saddest disease. Slowly she started to forget things, where she had left her purse, phone numbers, names and dates. I would go over and cook for her, but one afternoon she had beat me too it. She was making herself hot dogs. The only problem was, she was boiling them, in the tea kettle, in the microwave. I knew then for her own safety it was time to look into a centre where they could better care for her. I always used to look down at families who put their loved ones into "homes", but after getting her settled in, and meeting many of her old girlfriends from the neighbourhood I realized it would be the best place for her. She made friends, tended the garden, and had movie nights. Eventually she began to forget more and more, people, family, friends, and one day she forgot me too. From then on I was the kind young fellow who would come to help feed her, and take her for ice cream.

When I was about 12 she taught me how to crochet. She would made the most amazing afghans and blankets for us. For a long time the knowledge sat dormant in my mind, until my niece was born and I realized she'd be the only one who didn't get a blanket. Unfortunately, I had lost my Grams by then, and now had to remember the complex patterns and stitches by myself. I started my journey at Wallmart, bought some new crochet hooks, and pretty pink yarn. I returned home and worked for hours making chains, attempting granny squares, trying to stitch rows of yarn with no luck. I put the hooks and wool down and went to bed, frustrated and upset.

I awoke in the morning after having the most amazing dream about my mom. She came and told me to go back home, and to look in the drawer beside the refrigerator, and I would find some help there... So I went back to my parents, looked in the drawer, and found one of my grandmothers old crochet hooks that my mom had borrowed years before. I picked up the hook and felt as if i pulled the sword from the stone. That night when I went back to my home, I sat down with my new old hook, my yarn and begun to crochet again. It was hard to understand at first what happened, but it was as if that hook had the memory of a million crochet stitches, and now they were surging threw my veins. I finished the baby's first blanket in a matter of a few days, and several after that. I feel now that the memory of my grams will live on now. The blankets were so important to us growing up, I am thankful I could pass that on to the next generation.

Many of my traditions originate from my grandmother. Tea before bed, family Christmas', shopping for hours, rose gardens and a fierce right hook. I miss the days when I could curl up in her lap in front of the television and watch old Shirley Temple movies. It makes me sad that my Niece wont experience all the love that only a Grandmother could offer. I hope that my sister and I are good substitutes and we can fill that void that my mom left.
Anywho, I am off to bed now.
Embrace the Journey,


Moonroot said...

Dear Bret,

I just came over to thank you for the lovely, kind and helpful comments you left on my latest blog entry. Your sympathy and concern made me tearful and then I came over and read this lovely post and I'm crying all over my computer!

I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's Disease too, so I really identified with much of what you said. It really is a tragic disease. In my Nanna's case it was like the real her was slipping away in front of our eyes, leaving us with an empty shell.

I love the crochet story, I love that you are carrying on what your grandmother taught you. I'm sure she'd be so proud.

And thanks again for your comments - can't tell you how much they're appreciated.

Ayre said...

Not only will your grandmother's crocheting live on through you, it will live on through me too because you taught me!! I'm sure there will be many more nights sitting and crocheting, exchanging information and patterns, sipping tea and laughing...I can't wait for the cool weather!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I hope you and your sisters do carry on those valued family traditions...I think it's great and important... and a wonderful testament to her memory.
And it's an important thing for a man to know how to cook, sew and crochet...your grandma knew this, and was wise to teach you.

wellesley3 said...

bret.. i just wanted to say thanks dude. this was the best thing i read all week, not to mention the most touching thing i've read in a long well bud... i just wanted to say thanks

love, peace and hair grease,


This Guy said...

Thanks everyone! ;) You're comments give me all warm and fuzzy feelings in my heart! =) It helps to enable me to express myself as I do when I see amazing comments like this! :)

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