My grandma Evelyn Lovie Nies passed away yesterday. She was sweet. Like most grandmas (are there unsweet ones? I’m lucky enough not to know).
Besides having a super kick ass name, my grandma also had a super cool Casio keyboard, which she let me use so I could learn to play When the Saints Go Marching In. She loved learning new things, being surrounded by people, and Fiddle Faddle caramel corn. I like those things too.
She painted, sang, “learned the Internet,” water aerobicized, and tried to teach me to crochet (which I could never get the hang of). She never seemed to get mad (another thing I can’t get the hang of). She had a dining room tablecloth with a fringe border, with which she taught me how to braid. She couldn’t grow flowers, so put fake ones in the planters in her yard. She cut out Ann Landers advice columns and mailed them to me. Did I read them (yes, Grandma). After I moved to Texas, she’d ask if I’d found a cowboy yet with a big hat and belt buckle (no, Grandma).
When I was a child at summertime family gatherings, and it was time to eat, the kitchen exploded with activity. Hands grabbing and voices rumbling from bodies taller than mine. At the table everyone fended for themselves, and to me, an only child accustomed to less activity, it felt chaotic. There always seemed to be fried chicken at these things, and someone, quite likely my Grandpa commented, “Don’t choke on a chicken bone!” Already nervous, my immediate reaction was “Oh god, I’m going to die! I’ve probably already choked on so many chicken bones!” and I became emotional. I do believe this is called anxiety. But my grandma called me softhearted. I never really hear that term, but I’ve always remembered her saying it. She was a lovely woman, and I hope to live a life like she did.
Minus the Alzheimer’s part.