I had quite an enjoyable time yesterday. We traveled two hours away to spend time with my grandparents. I am very lucky as I have had both sets of grandparents as well as an adopted set (explanation in a later post) most of my life. My adopted grandfather died just before I graduated college and my maternal grandfather died about 4 years ago. They have never lived close (adopted set the exception for a while) and because of my parents’ strained relationship with them, I was never extremely close to them.
Yesterday, we drove two hours to visit my maternal grandmother and my paternal grandparents. We went to a park and the weather was glorious. The nursing home that my grandfather resides in sits next to the park, so he was able to join us. We had fast food fried chicken, cole slaw, and mashed potatoes – not my first choice, but I was not responsible for cooking anything, so I was not picky. I sat under a tree, staying out of the sun as I had gotten sunburned at my son’s soccer game on Saturday. My husband kept an eye on the kids. We visited some and I read some. All in all, it was a relaxing and enjoyable day.
Something interesting did transpire. It requires a little background on my maternal grandmother. My mother has 3 sisters – one older than her by 8 years (WWII interference) and then two younger, each only about 2 years apart. My grandmother gave birth to a son before my oldest aunt was born, but he died within hours of his birth. My oldest aunt was actually a twin, but her twin brother died as well, within hours. I have spent my entire life listening to my grandmother lament that she never had any sons and watching my mom and her sisters try to make up for it. My grandmother has always been a crabby woman – never a kind word for anyone or anything. In the course of many discussions, she seems to find some way to put down everyone.
Yesterday, she was showing my mother two rings she was wearing, both in need of repair. My mom offered to take them to a jeweler in our town, one that she has used before to repair some old jewelry. My grandmother was hesitant at first, but when my mom explained that he doesn’t send the jewelry away, he does it all himself, right in his store, she agreed. One of the rings is a sapphire ring that I have seen her wear before. I asked where it had come from and she explained that she had gotten it from her father for her high school graduation, which was shortly before he died. I commented how pretty it was and how sapphires are my favorite gem. I was actually born on my grandmother’s birthday (September – birthstone is sapphire).
I was trying the ring on and she said, very matter of factly, that the ring would eventually be mine. I was startled – she’s not a woman that normally just gives things away. I made some offhand comment about it being my birthstone and she said the reason she was giving it to me was because I deserved it. I was dumbfounded, as was my mother. There are 7 grandchildren older and 8 younger than me. I do know that I am really the only grandchild that visits on a regular basis – in fact I think I have a couple of cousins who haven’t seen her in over 10 years. Anyway, it was a very special moment. I told her I was honored and whenever she was ready, I would be happy to wear it. She ruined the moment by telling me that I better not lose it, but that’s okay.