Hello all and HAPPY 2016!
I couldn't be happier to see a year go.
2015 can kiss my ass.
It took my mom, my marriage, broke my arm and bullied me pretty much from the get go and then...
on the last day, I had a massive car accident. Totaled. Ugh. Luckily I have good insurance.
Don't let the door hit ya on the way out 2015. Seriously.
I am looking forward and I am here. I have been blogging but publishing to draft, for a few reasons...probably because I'm busy for one, definitely because this time of year has been a royal bitch emotionally, but mainly because the blogs are coming out muddy.
I have some great stories to tell. Stories I'm excited to get down. True interesting stories. That's my resolution. I am going to tell some of them here.
The first story I'd like to tell you is about dimes.
My mother's mother was obsessed with them. From the time she was a child she collected them. A dime never passed her by that she didn't pick up and hoard.
It started when she was a kid, she'd gone to stay with her very rich and strict spinster aunt who sent her to the store to buy paint. Her aunt gave her a dime to buy paint and a penny for the penny candy machine outside the store. My grandmother accidentally put the dime in the candy machine and came back empty handed. When she came back her aunt was so upset that she locked my grandmother in the vestibule for 24 hours. I never met the woman, she was long gone by the time I was born but I picture her as a Cruella Deville style villainness. I just can't imagine anyone being that cruel to the meekest little angel of a person.
My mother told me that when she was little my great grandmother used to tell her that she had to be nice to her mommy because her mommy was an angel walking the earth. I wish I'd gotten that disposition. I take after my grandfather unfortunately. Still good but with a definitively sharper edge that stands up to bullshit a little better. I might have been that kind at one point but people tend to take advantage and it wasn't long before my resolve was sharpened and I grew a thick skin.
Fast forward to 1950, my mom's birth was imminent and as the little town they lived in had fallen on hard times. My grandfather had extended out credit at their grocery store so that people didn't starve—but my grandparents were struggling too. When my mother was born, they couldn't afford the hospital bill. My grandmother sent my grandfather back to the house and he came back to the hospital and paid for my mother's birth with sacks full of dimes.
All my life for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, graduations, you name it-- she'd give me a roll of dimes among other gifts. She always told me never to spend a dime if I could help it. I have a special jar that I put just the dimes she sends me in. 414 at last count. I've found them in the yard, on top of strange places.
She was the light of my world. Soft, loving, kind, meek...an angel walking on earth.
She died when I was in college. A stroke. She actually survived the stroke, hung on at the hospital for all of us to get there, my sister travelled four hours to be with her and then when we were all standing in a circle around her holding hands she died. Our angel.
It still hurts. I swear I feel her more now than I did then though. So strange.
You know I’ve never told anyone this but when my mom was at her very worst, when the cancer had eaten up her brain and she was lying in her hospice bed needing round the clock care to feed and change her I was sitting with her once. She started gasping and crying. I hadn’t heard her talk in weeks and all the sudden she was talking coherently. She told me that she’d just talked to my grandma, her mother. She told me that grandma told her that she ‘just had too many illnesses to stay’. Illnesses. Throughout the cancer diagnosis never once can I recall a single person referring to it as an illness, certainly not my mother. I choose to believe that in her time of need, her mother came to her to guide her home. She died days later.
Ever since my grandmother died we find dimes. I know, I know sounds like bullshit but it isn't. I find them in the weirdest places. Almost always when I'm doing something with or for my kids.
Once my sister, mom and I were having lunch talking about the dimes. They each told a strange story about finding dimes, I got so sad. I hadn't gotten a dime from her in a long time. I told them I thought she must not love me anymore. After that I took my niece to the children's museum and as I pushed her stroller through the door I pushed into a huge display and knocked it over. I was mortified. It was a giant plastic ball that got knocked off its pedestal and went rolling. Museum employees’ scurry to clean up the mess, I try to help. I bend over to help pick up the ball when I see that it's a ball full of...dimes.
A fundraiser for the March of Dimes. Seriously not an hour after I griped about not getting any dimes.
To this day, constantly I find them. I know she loves me. I save every single one grandma.
I choose to believe this because in the bible it says that the meek shall inherit the earth. I believe that she’s one of the meek tasked to stay here and guide us.
I help my family throw a yearly fund raiser for the March of Dimes and I have since 2000. A golf tournament. I start in January every year marketing. Last year I had a local band, a local restaurant to cater it, a full roster, every hole sponsored by an area business, a silent auction with donated items...we raised $20,000.
I can't wait for this year's tournament. It's such a fun day. We all wear purple and at the end of the day when we hand over the money to the March of Dimes crew...it feels so good to know that you were the conduit through which goodness and love flowed to those who need it most.
Also on a funny note....while my grandma was a saint, my grandpa is where I get my cantankerous almost evilness. He liked to mess with certain people-not everyone, just those that were closest to him were privileged enough to be on the receiving end of his messings. He was normally very serious. A money man. His favorite thing to say, so much so that he'd have us repeat it back to him regularly was "If you watch your pennies, your dollars will take care of themselves".
My grandmother was an avid crossword puzzle connoisseur. When he retired he decided just to mess with her he was going to take up crosswords. So he'd sit in his recliner while she cleaned or did laundry and do his crossword which simply consisted of him asking her for each answer.
I never heard the woman raise her voice in my lifetime nor did I ever see her angry about anything ever but I remember her saying once in a semi annoyed still sweet and angelic voice 'Charlie if I wanted to do a crossword puzzle I'd do my own!'
Whenever I see a dime and there's a penny next to it I know 3 things: 1. Their loving and yet funny relationship is still going strong. 2. He's still messing with her, stepping on her thing even now. 3. He still loves me too.
'The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings...'. God I love Through the looking glass. It's high time for some silliness!
More on these things later. Hope your 2016 is whimsical, full of fancy and light, loving kisses and a force field of love to protect you.