today is 6 years since my father’s mother, my grandma maxine passed away.
i miss her more and more each day.
i think of her, of the good times, before she began to slip away.
the baking. the shopping. the lunches out.
the matching fancy lauren seymour handmade sweatsuits she’d buy me each and every hannukkah when i was little. i loved them. and i looked forward to picking them out with her. and it made her so proud to see me wearing them.
my grandma had a zest for life. she always said, “when it’s my time it’s my time, you can’t live your life scared of everything Traci.”, clearly that message got through loud and clear (insert sarcasm font here!).
i can’t tell you what my earliest memories of grandma are, but, that she was ALWAYS a glass is half full kinda person. everything just rolled off her back.
she had 3 children and 7 grandchildren and loved each and every one of us differently yet with all her heart. she had a different relationships with each of us, and i’m sure each of us could write a totally different perspective on my grandma. but she was my grandma maxine.
i spent A LOT of my teenage years with grandma. my parents always thought they’d move out to agoura for me to go to high school so during the summers i started working at camp out in agoura and staying with grandma during the week, and on the weekends i’d go home to my parents. obviously there were many less rules at grandma’s! plus, well, she was grandma!
there are so many things to say about my grandma, but most of all i want to pass on her zest for life. her positivity. her strength. her ability to say what she was thinking (which when you were on the receiving end, wasn’t always so great!). and her ability to not let anyone stop her!
when it would rain, she would say, “i’m not sugar, i’m not gonna melt, now let’s go!”. as opposed to my mom who’d cancel the days activities!
grandma maxine was a very special person. i love her with all of my heart and soul. i carry a piece of her around with me, i’m named for her mother tillie, and it makes me feel closer to her, all the time. i wish i’d known tillie, but, i’ve heard plenty of stories from my dad. he said that both my great grandma’s for whom i’m named, tillie & ella show up in me often. from my personality, to my mannerisms. isn’t it weird how genetics work??
last year i adopted oliver. he came to me in a very unusual way. in my opinion, he found me, not the other way around. he chose me.
this may sound CRAZYPANTS to you, but i’m going to share anyway. my grandma maxine (and my grandpa sam) always had lots of dogs. my dad grew up around german shepherds and they always had several on their property (it was encino, in the 50’s, it was farm land back then!).
my dad says that my great-grandma ella (for whom i got my middle name erin), who was maxine’s mother-in-law, used to say, “when i die i hope i come back as one of maxine’s dogs, she treats them even better than people”. i never had heard that ever. until one day about 6 months ago when oliver looked at me, in the eye, and i swear to god it was grandma maxine looking back! he did the funny head tilt thing she did when she got caught by one of us eating candy or doing something she wasn’t supposed to. i know this sounds a little phoebe thinks the cats her grandma-ish, but i’m telling you, i feel a great sense of relief and peace since noticing that about oliver.
i called my dad right away, i thought he’d think i was crazy. but he didn’t. that’s when he told me that story. we all hold on to those who have passed in different ways, maybe this is just mine, i don’t know.
it may be her spirit in oliver. it may not be. either way it gives me a link to her. it lets me feel like she’s still here watching me. watching me succeed. watching me fail. watching me get back up again. watching me struggle. watching me find happiness. and you know what, that’s what i needed. so crazy as it sounds, today, i will be celebrating oliver, just like i did on grandma maxine’s birthday in may….because you know, just in case, i wouldn’t want her feelings hurt!
i love you grandma today and always. you are never far from my thoughts and prayers. you are with me wherever i go and whatever i do. every holiday without you is rough. i love you. and i know you’d love oliver grandma! xoxox
*writers note* most of my photo’s were recently lost in a computer backup meltdown…..i regret not having any to post today, but one of the first things on my list is to go and do a bunch of scanning at my parents house STAT!