I decided to go to Joy's shower as I think she needed me more than anyone else on the list and when I write about what happened there, you'll see that I made the right decision. My grandma's actual 76th birthday was on Tuesday, July 28. And I'm a New York asshole now and forgot to call her. So I spent 20 minutes out of my work day to catch up with her on Wednesday. Here's why that's a big deal.
1. I never do personal stuff during the work day. THERE'S NO TIME.
2. My grandma doesn't sit on the phone with anyone for 20 minutes. I think she's from the old school when people used to be charged by the minute on HOME phones. So she's like get to the point and get the hell off the phone. Funniest thing I ever experienced. You'll be like "so how..." and she'll cut you off like "alright, bye now."
So here's the top 10 things I learned on the phone with my grandma yesterday:
10. She's getting all of her teeth pulled. She only has 8 left and a partial denture. She told the dentist to keep her gap. She's gone 76 years with a gap and she doesn't want to go anymore without one.
9. The man in the photo with her that my mom sent to ME is named Walter. Walter is an old "friend" of my Aunt L, but he's become a son to her. He's ALSO an old friend of Aunt P. And Aunt P is mad at his continued friendship with Aunt L. #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness
8. All seven of her kids showed up for this birthday. This is rare. It's usually 5-6 of them that come at any given time. Never all 7 together.
7. She wasn't cooking NO food for her bday party and neither was anyone else in her hot kitchen. Just ice cream and cake, but Uncle J insisted that there be food, so he got hot dogs. Uncle J is most like granddaddy and granddaddy used to love to eat and COOK!
6. My big sister has a new phone number. (Yes, my grandma has my sister's number in a notebook that looks like something detectives use on cases and gave it to me and I don't even have it.)
5. Everyone who she invited that DIDN'T come. She named them off to me one by one. (She's old and forgets things, but if she invites you to a party and you don't come, please believe she'll remember.)
4. She asked my mom if I was in town because even though I TOLD her I wasn't going to be able to make it this year, I sometimes sneak into town. But my mom told her I wasn't there, so she wasn't expecting me.
3. She went to VBS on her actual bday (the party was on the weekend). She sat on the usher board float in the VBS parade the week prior. (She wanted to know if I saw her in the pic my mother texted me. If you wonder why I'm always taking photos, you should meet my grandmother.)
2. She's still doing crafts for VBS (probably been doing that for 50 years by now). This year everyone is decorating their own [Jesus] tshirts and my cousin Chelsee has "outdone" herself. Her shirt has fringes that she tied and a very cute design on the front.
And finally, the #1 thing I learned from my grandmother on the phone yesterday. This one took me under y'all:
1. She understands that I couldn't come home and that I can't always come home and that's ok. She said I'm doing what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing. She said I'm not supposed to be laid up under my parents all the time, I should get out and see the world, like I'm doing and she's proud of me.
Traveling and seeing the world and following my dreams seems spectacular, but I have so many hard choices to make about what I can participate in and what I can't when it comes to family and relationships. It's nice to hear about things on the phone, but I would have preferred to have been there in person. Those are the tradeoffs. Adult decisions. Adult realities. What a blessing for me to have family that supports my decisions instead of making me feel bad about them.
If you have living grandparents, when is the last time you talked to them?