Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I will start by apologizing if I ramble, but I have been playing around with my thoughts for the last few days and want to try to get some of them out.

My Grandmother died just before Christmas. She was 86 years old. I was her first Grandchild, I remember her telling me all about how she would drive home from New Haven at lunch time just to steal a few minutes with me before going back to work.

She wasn't your everyday, run of the mill Grandma.. she was young and spunky, she didn't want to be called "Grandma", she picked the name "LaLa" for herself because she was a singer... she had a beautiful voice and sang opera. She wanted her name to reflect that. I had different plans for her name though and at some point when I was learning to talk, I dubbed her "Iyah" because I couldn't say "LaLa" and so she became "Iyah" to me, my sister and brother. My kids even called her Iyah. That's who she was... Iyah.

So when I think of Iyah and Poppop here are some of the random things I remember...

Strawberries in her garden outside the side door.

Her putting "Shirley Temple" curls in my hair.

Her really cool clothes and how she would let me wear whatever I wanted from her closet.

How beautifuly she sang and played the piano.

Sleeping over her house and how much fun she always made it.

A fire in the fireplace, and the little red stool that my sister and I used to sit on in front of the fire. ( I have that stool in my bedroom now)

Her green Pinto with the stickers of all the places they had been on the back window.

A shopping spree at Macy's for my Birthday and the beautiful clothes she bought me.

Ice-cream when we would visit and how she would "bunk it up" meaning she would mix it until is was smooth and creamy.

Her telling the story about the first time I had Lobster when I was 5 ans we were on vacation in Maine.. I absolutely LOVE Lobster to this day.. and think of the story every time I have it.

The way she would always call me "sweetheart"

There are a million other things, I could go on listing things all day, but you probably get the idea.. she was one in a million.

So this past week, I had the opportunity to go to her house and pick some momentos to remember her by. The house is being closed up and sold even though my Grandfather is still alive he is in a home and is not well. Walking though the house, so many memories came back to me and I fould comfort in being there, it was sad though to realize that this is all thats left... memories and boxes of stuff.... and Iyah had stuff.... I think she saved every piece of paper and every pair of shoes she ever bought... most still in their boxes stacked in her closet. The house is cold and dissembeld into piles of things. In the end, I picked out some things that will remind me of her everyday when I look at them.

The Buffet that was in her dining room is now in my dining room. (I'll try to post a picture)

The little red stool that my sister and I used to sit on in front of the fire

Some photo's of her as a young woman, and one of her and my Grandfather later in life.

Their wedding photo and a story about how they met and fell in love.

A drawing of the Battleship my Grandfather was on in WWII The USS North Carolina.

The headboard from their bed ( We have been wanting to upgrade to a kingsized bed, and she also had a brand new king bed in the guest room that we took home and set up)

And the one thing that I am just so thrilled to have is a box of letters, probably 300+ of them that my grandparents wrote back and forth to eachother while my grandfather was in the Navy.. they are all still in their original envelopes and postmarked as early as 1937. I haven't even been able to bring myself to read more than a few of them... they seem so private and intimate that I feel like I am intruding on their privacy. They are sitting in the box I found them in right now in the drawer of the Buffet.

I have my memories and have spent much time sharing stories with my kids this week...

She truly was one of a kind and she is missed.

Here is a photo of the Buffet.. I haven't decided what .. if anything to display on it yet... right now I kind of like as is...