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My Sweet Grandma Alice

My most treasured memories of my childhood involve running errands with my Grandma Alice.  It didn’t matter where we went as long as we were together.  She was my safe place and when I was with her, I felt loved, carefree, and happy.  Being seen and heard at Grandma’s was joyful.  I could totally be myself around her and she loved me for it.  Maybe I was her safe place, too.

Grandma and I would run errands for hours.  There was always a stop at a garage sale.  We’d go to the bank so she could secretly squirrel away money in her wallet and purse.  We spent a good hour at Pic-N-Save or Woolworth’s searching through treasures we didn’t need.  We would drive hours to Long Beach to drop off a check she could have easily mailed.  On the way home, we stopped by Alpha Beta for groceries and after, I watched her fry fish in her old cast iron skillet while she held a warm Pepsi in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  I didn’t even like fish but hers was amazing.

Grandma had such a gentle spirit.  All the stray cats in the neighborhood loved her almost as much as I did.  She wasn’t perfect, but we were perfect together.  I’d like to think the good parts of me are because of her.  She never showed me the part of herself that was broken.

After my sweet Alice passed away, a poem poured out of me.

Kiss Me Goodnight

Grandma, I’m tired

And ready for bed

I’ll snuggle beside you and

You’ll scratch my head

Sweet dreams, I love you

Tuck me in tight

Give me my teddy

And kiss me goodnight

Grandma, I’m tired

And have to head home

Waiting for me are

Girls of my own

I don’t want to leave you

I’d visit all night

Hand me my coat

And kiss me goodnight

Grandma, you’re tired

And ready for bed

Grandpa is waiting

To Heaven, you’re led

Grant me one wish and

I’d hold you so tight

I’d lie down beside you

And kiss you goodnight

With all my heart, I want to jump in Grandma’s car again and disappear for hours.  Now, I cherish every time my daughters run errands with me.  I get to share something special with them.  It probably means more to me than it does to them, but they go anyway and I love every moment.

I miss you every day, my sweet Alice.  Thanks for letting me ride shotgun.

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