If my grandma were still alive, today would be her birthday. I have a strange suspicion that she probably would have celebrated her birthday by attending the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn. Although she never knew of the Twilight series, her quirky character always took interest in whatever her grand children were into. In fifth grade, when I became obsessed with The Backstreet Boys, my mammy hung a huge poster of Howie Dorough on HER bedroom wall. When we entered Junior High and High School, her car’s music station changed from Oldies 93 to Hot 101. Instead of singing “Red Rubber Ball” she began singing Ludacris. Yeah she was a nut, but she was always a blast. Looking back, that’s what I appreciate the most about her. She wasn’t always happy or dancing her way through life, but around her grandchildren there was nothing that upset her.
I was her first grandchild which meant that to her, I was a saint. I spent a lot of my childhood with her and would still visit at least twice a week once I started college. She came to every single event that I ever participated in, with bells on. I’m sure a lot of my childhood friends have memories of Mammy as she loved to interact with all of the kids. She would come to all of our sporting events with a big grocery bag filled with snacks for all of us to eat before or after our game. Many will remember the ridiculously loud red Chevette that she drove from the time that I was born until I was in 7th or 8th grade. Some of my favorite memories with Mammy were our nightly walks we’d take around town, car rides on roller coaster road where we’d stop at random farms to call the horses over to pet, watching rodeo’s on CMT even though she hated country music and made fun of cowboys and her huge, giant, massive cut out cookies at Christmas time. She was loud, swore all the time, and wore cut off sweat pants that exposed her extremely pale legs but she gave the warmest, best hugs that I can still feel today. She could NEVER keep a secret, was a bit overly dramatic and always kept a messy house but she would truly do anything for anyone who needed it or even just wanted it. She quit a simple job that she loved to help care for my brother, sister and I when our mom went back to college. She grew her hair out after I saw a picture of her from her 20’s and asked her to do so. When my family couldn’t afford to send me on my 7th grade class to trip to New York City, she happily handed over the money to make sure that I didn’t miss out. She was the complete opposite of what one thinks of when you imagine a grandmother and yet she was everything one could ask for in the best grandma in the world. It’s weird for me to say grandma though because she was more than that to me. She was my mammy.
I believe that mammy was the most influential person in my life. Most of my values come from her values and even though we are very much different, I am proud to say that I am very much the same as she, too. In a somewhat tough childhood, she was my savior. She never once did anything besides praise me, hug and kiss me, and show me complete and pure unconditional love.
Today I am happy to celebrate her birthday. The birth of someone so important is nothing to cry about. Right now she is probably eating a Dutch Haus cake in heaven with her mom, whom she lost when she was only 17. She’s definitely happy. Plus, I know that if she saw any of us crying over her birthday she’d probably say something along the lines of “Oh, knock that shit off!” 🙂
So happy birthday Mam! We all love you.