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Grandma Has Landed

There’s a fly buzzing around my kids’ heads at the kitchen table. They jerk reflexively out of its path, but know better than to swat at it. “Is that Grandma?” My eight year-old asks.

I shrug a knowing, little smile. “Could be. Either way, the fly is our friend.”

“But grandma keeps going around my head. It’s annoying,” complains my oldest son.

“Maybe she wants to say she’s thinking of you.”

He nods, somewhat appeased.

“Or,” I reconsider. “That you need a haircut. Yup, that’s it.”

“Aw. Come on!” He protests.

“Blame Grandma.” I say and push the hair from his eyes.

“I want gramma!” mumbles my five year-old with a mouthful of macaroni.

I look at them warmly and feel a spark of my grandmother’s pride. I am now the matriarch of my own beautiful clan. Beautiful and innocent. It is the gift of childhood; my stuffed animals are really alive, why can’t grandma be a fly?

Of course, she wasn’t always a fly. For all my years, she was the Queen Bee. Grandma Bebe – the most wonderful, fascinating and formidable woman I ever had the honor to know, love and be loved by; a woman from an era of class and balls rarely seen today.

For years before she passed, she was home bound, long-suffering with her hip, back and other calamities of age that do its best to damage life’s dignity. My grandmother refused to be diminished, certainly not in people’s eyes. Instead, she refused visits and exercised her influence from the phone.

It was she who insisted, wistfully when she longed to see me or my children or spitefully when I was brave (or stupid) enough to poo-poo her power, that she would return as a fly on my wall and make sure things were as they should, meaning as she liked. If they weren’t, well, the implication was threatening. I wondered if she could still throw shoes from the after-life.

It was a month after she passed, on a cold winter day that brought night before its time. I was on the phone with my father. He was troubled, which meant trouble for me. As I heated up with frustration, a fly from nowhere, circled my body and landed on my hand. It rested there and as I gaped, it stared back. Grandma had come to comfort me. I accepted it as I accepted the sun.

So grandma is a fly, as well as the lox on my bagel, and licking my lips before chocolate cake and scratching the backs of my boys. She’s living and breathing in my heart. I hear her smoky voice in my head, or her words coming from my cousin’s mouth. I miss her presence, but I do love knowing that sometimes she’ll still fly down for a visit and buzz “What’s doing, pussycat?” in my ear.

My door is always open, Gma.

 

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

69 responses »

  1. Bruce Schindler

    Very nice

    Reply
  2. very very nice….made we smile

    Reply
  3. Truly amazing !! Write me one for waitng at the courthouse tommorow:)

    Reply
    • Thank you sweetie!! I don’t know about tomorrow, but i’ll be you aren’t all caught up. I’d suggest reading “Get me off this Island!” for a good laugh in the courthouse. 🙂

      Reply
  4. I might just have to steal that one and tell my teens that! I’ll never stop pestering them and always be around. Love it!

    Reply
  5. Love this! The details are fantastic and I love how you describe your how you Grandma had both class and balls. My Grandma had those. Well, she had balls.

    Reply
  6. Very sweet 🙂

    Reply
  7. Awesome. After my grandmother passed away all of my family in some way noticed a white butterfly. Each of us thought independtly of her. Only talking years later we realized how each of us attributed the butterfly to her presence. A very nice way to confirm that she was indeed still with us!

    Really great post and I am glad your grandmother still visits you! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Loved this one. Made me smile :))

    Reply
  9. So sweet. My grandmother just passed away and I love this image. Erin

    Reply
  10. Oh that photo gave me goosebumps! Love this. What a cool way to remember an amazing woman.

    Reply
  11. I was wondering how you were going to turn being a fly into a good thing! I really enjoyed this, especially at the end when you described all of the other places she was. Very nice!

    Reply
  12. Aww how sad and sweet.

    Reply
  13. What a sweet sweet tribute to your grandmother. I love the picture too. Classic.

    Reply
  14. Lovely post! I love how you tied the queen bee in there!

    Reply
  15. That is a gorgeous photo! I love that she isn’t just “a fly on the wall” but a fly crawling on your hand and buzzing around your family – it must be her 🙂

    Reply
  16. Very sweet! I remind my kids of all the things my grandmother is in our home, too.

    Reply
  17. No, OUR grandma was the best. 🙂

    Reply
  18. What a gorgeous story and what a gorgeous woman.

    Reply
  19. Beautiful, simply beautiful! Loved this post and the moment you described with your grandmother on your hand. Well done!

    Reply
  20. Oh, this was sweet and funny! I really like it 🙂

    Reply
  21. Michele Zukowski Byrne

    when my nani passed away, it was the cardinal that keeps her flying into our lives…..loved this. and P.S. I voted for you on the thing….;P

    Reply
  22. very sweet story. my grandmother isn’t doing so well lately and i’ve noticed myself seeing her in others already… this really hit home with me.

    Reply
    • i’m so sorry to hear that. i was/am devastated when my gma passed a few months ago, but, as much as i miss her, honestly i know she’s with me. love is never-ending. speak with her as much as you can…xo

      Reply
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  24. Oh what a beautiful post!! I just love how you honor her memory, and I know she is with you in all those precious ways…
    (Going green stop by!! SO glad I did!)

    Reply
  25. nataliedeyoung

    I love this! My Gma was a queen bee, too – this totally reminded me of her! 🙂

    Reply
  26. Awesome! Love this

    Reply
  27. I love this post. My great grandmother was the queen bee in our family. Formidable until she passed away at age 97. Still lived on her own, too.

    Reply
  28. This one jerked a tear. My time with my grandmother is going quickly. She’s spends her days sitting in a recliner in a nursing home. I wish I made time to visit her every day, but I don’t. Your post reminds me to make time. Thanks for sharing your grandma with us. I loved your story!

    Reply
  29. Love this 🙂 I wish I would have had more time with my grandma.

    Reply
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  41. Oh I love this. There are folks that I’ve lost that I would love to have come and visit me in any form. Your grandmother sounds absolutely wonderful.

    Reply
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