Another milestone. Today is my Grandmother’s birthday. She would be 98.
Last year Mom and I had lunch with her at “her table” #28, the four top in the corner where she could easily drive up and stay seated in her electric cart. We have been known to pretend to await the arrival of the 4th invited guest that seemed to be no show. She treasured her time with just Mom and me and she would go to whatever lengths to ensure she got it when she could. That darn guest was a no show again last year too, wouldn’t you know it?!
I asked Emmer last year what she wanted for her birthday. For as long as I can remember she would say there was nothing in the world she could think of. We usually came up with something unique. Sometimes she had to hide it in her room, but once she passed 90, I thought she earned whatever she wanted. Last year she wanted my homemade apple pie. So I got up that morning, made her pie from scratch and pulled it out of the oven just in time to head to The Pines for lunch. Emmer looked beautiful, as always. This was her day! I had chosen her clothes the day before and hung her jewelry around the blouse coat hanger as I always did when she was dressing for a special occasion. I remember her smiling, laughing and listening to stories of Mom’s latest travels and adventures and hearing about the kids going back to school. Oh how she loved that birthday apple pie that day. We were the very last people to leave the Dining Room and she took the leftover pie, hidden in a box tucked behind her cart.
Emmer thought she was old enough and she thought she had seen enough. When we talked about her birthday each year she would shake her head and say “Oh heavenly day! I’m how old? Don’t you think that is enough?” I would always shrug my shoulders and tell her it was just good genes. We would joke about needing a double room in the nursing unit that she could share with Mom at the rate she was going. (This always struck fear in Johnny as he has watched so many of Emmer’s traits come forth in Mom, and Mom’s traits in me. Ever thought you could see into your future? Yeah, that makes him laugh and cringe all at the same time!)
Well, let me just say to you Emmer, Oh Heavenly Day! You lived long…very long, you loved with your whole soul, you taught us to value each other and your spirit lives on in each of us. Happy Birthday Emmer! This is your heavenly day! Cheers to you Emmer!!
© Gatewood Campbell, August 2013