Yesterday would have been my grandmother's 94th birthday and today is my niece's third. She could've been born yesterday had it not been for my sister's jerk-off first baby daddy- but that's another story entirely.
My first thoughts about Nanny (as we called her) yesterday was how she always queried if we would cry when she dies. Didn't think anything of it at the time, but now strikes me as an oddly morbid question to ask a child. But she did it with a smile cause the answer was always a resounding yes.
As a teen-ager, sometimes she made me so mad (again, a different story). But now I can only remember how much I wanted to stay with her when we were kids. Listening to PopPops (what we called our grandfather) sing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" along with the ceramic Blue Jay music box. They also had a Cardinal, but the tune escapes me. And how Nanny called him "Daddy" from the kitchen, the smell of fried chicken cutlets hanging in the air. Pokeno and pound cake. The clack of her necklaces hitting the back of the bedroom door. Five different candy dishes on the white marble coffee table. The velvet Valentino hanging in the den. Riding in her ragtop '74 bronze Impala, ever-vigilant Saint Christopher on the dash. And in the morning how she'd tell us the disheveled bed looked like, "Who did it and ran?" I use that phrase often and it never fails to gets a laugh. And in the back of my mind I thank her for giving me that little gem.