I figured that sometimes I have to post the bad with the good. Or, at least the sad with the funny. These women are extremely three-dimensional (in Tillie's case maybe a little too dimensional) and all aspects of them need to be shared otherwise this blog doesn't really have a point behind it. As my Aunt has said, these women are our legacy and all aspects of them need to be jotted down. This entry is going to be a mashup; it's going to be the grab bag of tales I need to tell. I know I've ranted and told a lot of stories to a lot of people through my course of time here. If you happen to remember a particular story I've told feel free to let me know so I can be sure to include it. I should probably attempt to organize these in a structure or at least in time frame order but I think the eclectic manner in which they're told just adds to it.
Some days are harder than most. When I say this, I don't necessarily mean for me. My great-grandma had been living with my great-grandfather for a huge portion of her life. Even before they were married and ever thinking about being the epic couple they became, they had known one another. According to my great-grandma he was this troublesome little boy always distracting my great-grandma from the mountains of work she constantly had to do. You could imagine, or at least I can hope that you'd try to, the kind of lost that someone would feel when that person - that rock and foundation - is ripped away from them. But you know what? It would have been far too easy to just lie down, almost literally, and for her to give up. She hasn't. Not yet. Not while her tired little body has some air to pump through her system. Hell, she may have horrible eyesight at this point, horrible hearing that you have to yell to make up for, an aneurism, a bad back, the inability to hold her bowels (which, let's face is... is another story all in itself), and a plethora of other things going on and yet she's still here to stand up as the Matriarch figure for this huge family that she essentially created. Remember I mentioned she was a battle-axe? I really wasn't kidding.
All kidding aside it really is hard for her. Especially right after everything happened. To soothe her we often would have to give her a shot of tequila if not two. The result of this? A really drunk, really emotional old woman. She's an incredibly spiritual person and would lock herself in the bathroom talking to both my great Uncle and my great-grandfather. Some days she'll wake up and tell me how much she misses Grandpa. Even just today as I was fixing her lunch she told me, "I really miss Grandpa. So much. But I know he's there waiting for me. I'll be with him again Heaven. Heaven is such a wonderful place. The best place to be." Is it selfish to not want her to leave to that wonderful place just yet even if I know how much she wants to be with her soulmate and son? It's a question a lot of us in the family have probably had to ask. I don't think any of us are ever really ready to let her go.
One afternoon in particular, one of the hard ones I'd just mentioned, Grandma woke with a start and hobbled her little body over to the area I was in. The huge den area? Yeh, that one. "Duty. Duty!" - as I've been christened while in these walls- "Come here! The most beautiful thing happened to me right now." As far as I knew, Grandma had been asleep. She's tired and worn out from life - often times she can be found sleeping. Sleeping or smoking. I assumed that this is what she'd been doing. As I turn the corner to catch sight of her she's quite literally shaking. Immediately upon seeing this I couldn't help but think something was wrong. She urged again and I followed her into her bedroom to which she moved to the side of her bed and picked up this little piece of paper. "I was sitting in the bathroom talking to Grandpa and just telling him and Ralphie (my great Uncle) about everything and how much I miss them. Then I came over here to my room and was laying down, just crying, when suddenly I felt this in my hand." She holds out the small piece of paper to me and I was slightly shocked. You know those moments where you're torn between being in awe and being kind of creeped out? That's what happened. On this pieced of paper was one of my great Uncle's drawings and beneath it "Don't worry, be happy". Not in that cheesy sing-song sort of way either. It was signed with Ralph's initials at the bottom.
Feel free to be as skeptical as you'd like to be but she truly believed that the paper had been placed in her hand. I can't vouch for anything in any way, so it's not as if I can honestly say what had happened. I do know that I, personally, had never seen that drawing before. That being said, I didn't stare at all of Grandma's belongings in her bedroom either before this incident. Regardless though, it had soothed her. She could have picked it up and ended up carrying it around with her; forgetting she had it in her hand as she fell asleep, or something miraculous truly could have happened. It kind of gives you something to think about, right? And for anyone curious, Grandma hasn't really had tequila or needed it in a decent chunk of time. Though... the other day, my birthday to be exact, we asked her if she wanted something to drink and she replied with, "you don't have what I'd want" - "What would that be?" - "A double shot". Yep. I don't really have words beyond that for it.
As I was writing this a new story unfolded right before me. I went to sleep early, around eight or so tonight. Obviously, I'm up again right now to write this. But I had fallen asleep early with both ceiling fans on. Tillie, ohhhh Tillie, she was wandering around in one of her nightgowns. I realized the fan above the computer area was completely turned off. This is a normal sight to see. It's often the cause of a great many battles between us. But tonight? Oh, she decided she'd step it up a notch. She completely tore off long chain to turn the fan part of the fan on. The ceiling in this room is incredibly high off the ground, even standing on a chair I can't reach the fan mechanism itself. Needless to say.... it looks like I'm in for a really hot night. Though, I did take the portable fan being used in the dining room to circulate air in here and put it on medium. I don't think Tillie liked it much, she bolted upstairs. Only after letting me know she "accidentally" broke the chain. "I didn't pull it that hard!" - "Well, obviously you did.... it broke."- "I don't just run around breaking things."
Tillie - 1, Katie - 0; she may have won this battle but the war of the fans is hardly over.