When my grandma was still with us I was only a young little thing, no more than five or six years old. Regardless of how long I had known her she was able to leave an imprint on me; unknowingly passing on traits and mannerisms.
To paint you a picture of my grandma by whom I refer to simply as Ma- I see her being similar to Susan Sarandon (minus the alcoholism) in the comedy Tammy released earlier this year. For those of you who haven’t seen the film think of an old woman, who is living as if she’s 25 and has the whole world at her finger tips. She’s not running from her past but rather embracing it with open arms and a stronger sense of understanding. Taking things one step at a time, raising hell and treating everyone from family to friends to strangers with nothing but kindness. To me that is exactly, beyond a shadow of a doubt how I see my grandma.
What I knew of Ma was very limited until recently; she worked as a telephone operator and passed away from cancer. My grandma was definitely something else, she is a survivor above all. At age 44, tragedy struck and it’s understood that she had a brain tumour growing since birth and was soon removed. After three months of waiting she finally got her surgery; she held on for three months with the golf ball sized mass lurking on the left side of her brain. That’s what I call a fighter.
The battle doesn’t end there; the woman who could never stop talking and was a goddamn telephone operator couldn’t speak. She was silent, and that was terrifying.
My mother told me that she was utterly shocked that even though she was trying, Ma could not speak. After a few months she got her sweet raspy voice back and insisted on remaining at work full-time. The determination and strength is something I find absolutely astounding, I suppose that’s where I got those traits from. My grandma kept fighting and didn’t have it easy but she had the support of family and friends.
Often I look back at photographs and remember when I was four years old and a kleptomaniac; particularly after my grandma’s lipstick. I guess you can say I had sticky fingers for whatever my grandma used; or maybe it’s that I knew I wanted to grow up like her from a young age. As I continue to grow older I will cherish the memories and keep her spirit alive around me. Rest In Paradise.