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My other grandma…I remember

I remember when I was a little girl, my grandmother, my mother’s mother, lived blocks from my house, and many days my mother would leave me and my brother in her care.  

I remember playing casino and pisha pasha – a card game that no one in our family can remember how to play and no one else in the world remembers as a game.

I remember going to her pool club, where I’d watch her play mahjong while eating cut up pieces of sweet, drippy cantaloupe.

I remember her refrigerator always had layered parfaits of Jello and cool whip, or it might have been pudding and whipped cream, but I think it was Jello. Could have been both.

I remember bananas, pretty little cups with flowers on them and stories of magic.

I remember beautiful holiday dinners and Shabbat candles.

I remember the whole family going out on Sundays for Chinese food and her ordering Subgum Chicken.

I remember singing, “Oh I won’t go to Macy’s any more, more, more…” and “In Bloomingdale’s Department store, you check them on the second floor…”  Clearly, the connection between Jewish women and shopping runs deep.

I remember sitting on her front porch, and as you could in Brooklyn, climbing over to the next porch and the one after that.

I remember playing Red light, Green light, One Two Three and Mother May I?

I remember rocky road ice cream was her favorite flavor.

I remember me being a bit snarky and insensitive, and really not all that nice.

I remember her getting sick.

I remember her dying.

I was 13, when it happened. I remember being so confused and uncomfortable at her funeral, my first real death. I curled in a ball on a chair and cried.

That’s really all I remember, little vignettes, snippets of truth that have been tenderized by age. I only had her a short while, and I regret not being mature enough to listen, learn or appreciate. I regret childish behavior that can never be resolved. I regret not hugging more. I regret being only 13 when she passed, and not having had her for 42 years like I did with my father’s mother. I regret not getting to love her more, to have built a relationship, to really know who she was.

I regret that I can only remember what I remember, and it isn’t nearly enough.

gm terry

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.

15 responses »

  1. Me too. I want more life and more memories. Love the part about the card games.

  2. You write like everybody would like to……
    As always,I enjoyed your post a great lot.

  3. I feel that way about my mother’s father. I was lucky enough to have my mom’s mom until just two years ago, and my dad’s mom is still living. But my grandfather was an amazing man who I can only recall now in hazy memories.

  4. I love that one but it made me cry sent Me the picture if u can

    Sent from my iPhone Alana Sikorski

  5. It’s never enough. Lovely, lovely post.

  6. This was a beautiful post…I fondly remember both of my grandmothers. One of them taught me to swim! Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Beautiful post. It’s funny what you remember as a child. It’s so true-little bits and pieces and memories that are hard to decipher whether they are real or stories that have been repeated to you over the years. I really enjoyed this. By the way my grandmother from Brooklyn played Pisha Pasha and I almost gasped when I read this because I never met anyone who knew it either! It’s an up and down game. If someone puts a seven then you can put a six or an eight. I think. Right???

    • thank you. it makes me sad that i didn’t really get to know her. lately, i’ve been thinking too much about the tragic part of life. must be middle age!! 😉
      and we can play pisha pasha together. it’s something like war, but with just suits and you steal the whole pile. must have been a brooklyn game!

  8. I bet your grandma wishes she could hug you right now. She’s a lucky grandma to still be in your thoughts. Beautiful post!


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