In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a couple of funny stories about two of the most important mothers in my life–my grandmothers. I am extremely fortunate to still have both of my grandmothers, and they are both very entertaining ladies.
My Grand-mere–a hoot, a character, a trip, and one of a kind–are words that we quite frequently hear from people when they comment about her to someone in our family. One of the best Grand-mere stories happened almost 10 years ago. A couple of months before Jacob and I got married, my Uncle Brian (my Dad’s youngest brother) unexpectedly passed away at age 40. Both of my parents are from Atlanta, so we stayed with my Mom’s parents overnight during the visitation and funeral. Of course, Jacob came along, too. He had met my grandparents before, but he was still trying to be on his best behavior around them, since he wasn’t officially in the family yet–and at five foot nothing and shrinking, Grand-mere can be an intimidating lady. Jacob stayed in a bedroom next to my grandparents, while the rest of us spent the night in our usual rooms in the basement, which Grand-mere affectionately calls “the Southern Suite.” Sounds nicer, right!?!
In the morning, we were getting ready for the funeral. Jacob took a shower in my Dannanny’s bathroom, and he said he made sure he left the place spotless. He checked the shower, potty, sink–everywhere–to make sure he left everything exactly how he found it. He said it was immaculate, so we left to go to my Uncle’s private burial with the memorial service following. In between the events, we went back to my other grandmother, Julia-mere’s, house. I remember exactly where I was standing in her front yard when I got the call from Grand-mere. Now, it was not unusual for Grand-mere to call me. She used to call my Mom, my sister, and me three to four times a day–no joke! So, I answered the phone to hear Grand-mere say, “Sara! Dannanny was in his bathroom and found Jacob’s dainties in there. I’ve put them in a plastic bag, and I will bring them to the church.” I quickly informed Grand-mere that she could just chunk those dainties and did not need to bring them to the church. Jacob, of course, wanted to crawl in a hole at the thought of my grandparents finding and handling his dainties.
The story doesn’t end there. After the memorial service, which was beautiful, there was a reception at the church for everyone. Jacob and I were talking to a bunch of folks when I saw one of my Uncle Brian’s best friends pushing his way through the crowd and headed straight for Jacob. He looked at Jacob and asked “are you Jacob?” Naturally, I thought they have a mutual friend or something like that–nope. Uncle Brian’s friend said “I have your underwear. Some old lady gave them to me after the service and told me to give them to you. She won’t leave me alone, so I wanted to tell you that they are at the front of the church on a shelf.” Jacob was MORTIFIED, to say the least, and refused to go retrieve his dainties. For all we know, they are still sitting in that church.
My sister, Julie, Grand-mere, and me
Uncle Brian and me at Tech’s Homecoming when he was a student there.
My Dad’s mother is named Julia, and we call Julia-mere–there is a long debate on how Julia-mere got her name. Grand-mere claims that I named her. My Mom insists that Grand-mere picked out her name. Thirty plus years later, the debate continues. Julia-mere is a retired teacher and still substitutes quite often even now. She loves to teach wherever she goes and always sees the good in people. She doesn’t have as many stories to tell as Grand-mere does, since she isn’t as opinionated and bossy (or the Top Dog, as Grand-mere likes to refer to herself), but this one is my favorite…
Juliamere lives in Atlanta near Emory University and was out and about one day when she saw a sign at Panera advertising for something free. Juliamere is one who enjoys a bargain, so in she went to try it. When she got up to the counter, she told the person taking her order that she “would like to try the free wiff-ee.” The cashier wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about so she pointed to the sign reading “free wifi” and repeated “I’d like the free wiff-ee, please.” Bless her. Now, I have to catch myself before saying WIFI–I always almost say wiff-ee, since this story is now a running joke in our family.
Reid, me, & Juliamere on Mother’s Day 2015