Life’s mysterious and too serious right now. Gravely serious. I think we all could use a smile and so I’m going to relate one of my favorite stories about two of my favorite people: my nephew and my late mother, his “Grammy.”
My sister-in-love (no longer my sister-in-law, now something even better!) loves relating the story and I am always an appreciative audience.
It’s important to know that my mother and her grandson were thick as thieves. “Grammy”
taught him to chew gum, among other things, but she died before she could teach him other bad habits. (God works in mysterious ways.)
She loved to babysit for her beloved grandchild. She was a smoker, though, and my brother and his wife did not allow smoking in their home. Grammy said she was good with that. One night, Grammy babysat at their home while the boy’s parents went out.
The next morning, my sister-in-love asked her son, who was about two years old, how the night went.
“We had fun,” he told her.
“You did? That’s great!” she said. “What did you do?”
“Well, we went in the bathroom.”
“You did?” she responded.
“Yeah,” he said. “Grammy had a white stick in her mouth. And it had fire coming out of the end!”
“It did? Fire came out the end?” she asked, trying to to laugh. Or be outraged.
“Yeah,” he said. “And smoke! But Grammy opened the window.”
“Oh,” my SIL said, “she opened the window. Was smoke going out the window?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Smoke went out the window.”
“How many sticks?” she asked her son.
“One stick,” he said. “A white one, with fire at the end.”
He had never seen a cigarette.
Later, she called my mother. “Mom, (name) says you were smoking in the bathroom.”
“Oh,” my mother shrugged it off. “He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”
“He told me you had white sticks coming out of your mouth, with fire at the end!” my SIL went on.
“Oh, that’s crazy,” my mother protested.
“Mom, ” my sister-in-love said, “you KNOW you were smoking in the bathroom!”
“Well, I did open the window,” she admitted.
When he was eight, Grammy died, after a year-long illness. Their relationship was so wonderful and so fun, I can only imagine what it might have been like had she lived. We laugh about that story all the time, because it was so—MOM.
“He never used a sippy cup his whole life,” my SIL laughed, “because Mom taught him how to drink from a cup–a fragile Dixie cup–and soda, no less! But he learned young and never did use the sippy cup.”
I love these old stories and can hear them again and again. They bring my beloved mother back to life for just a few minutes. And even though I am sad for all that I, he, we missed by not having her here these past 20 years, the memories are truly a blessing.
If you’ve got your own funny story to relate I’d love to hear it in the Comments and we’ll all celebrate the love we continue to have for our loved ones who have made their transition.