Friday, February 4, 2011


I interrupt this on going self focused diatribe of mine to comment on the loss of my step-grandmother, Gail.

"Grandmother" was just that,  not a "Grannie", "Nanna" or any other form of the word. She was "Grandmother". Formal and proper, I received lovely thank you notes for the cards and gifts I would occasionally remember to send her. She was not a fan of foul language and would call my sisters and me "Foul Mouth Gutter Snipes". Those of you who know me, know that I truly enjoy a salty word or two, and at 16...well, let's just say, I was honing my skills.

Always perfectly coiffed (gorgeous white hair) and dressed in coordinated outfits (even in later years, her cane matched her outfit) she was beautiful.  She was the original class act but had a wicked sense of humor.

She was the good luck charm at all our weddings and the gift she gave me as a souvenir of my wedding in Key West was the best gift we got. You have seen  those awesome mugs you put in the freezer with the gel in them. Grandmother gave us two RAINBOW mugs with Key West written on them. We had them for years! Every time I used them I thought of standing with her watching the parade of the drag queens in their vehicles for the bed races walking by us as we waited to be seated for breakfast. She didn't bat an eye. AWESOME.

Grandmother was inspiring for so many reasons, but my favorite story and the act that truly inspires me to make a difference is this. She was the Girl Scout leader for girls in her town of Del Rio, Texas. This was during the late 50's early 60's and the civil rights movement was in full swing. Granddaddy owned a car dealership and was active politically and they were both very well known. She had the first African American girl in her troop and they were going to the Girl Scout Round Up. The girls were super excited and I am sure, wild as little girls can be. They decided to stop and eat. Grandmother told them to wait in the car while she went in to make sure "they had room". Of course, she was threatening them that if they didn't allow ALL of her scouts to eat there, she would make sure her husband boycotted their restaurant. They had to sit in the back, but they all ate inside.

Later, it came out that they at first said " NO" and "She can eat in the kitchen with the cooks". Grandmother set the standard for doing what is right and did not back down until she got what she wanted. I found this out only a few years ago, but I will say, it makes me stand a little taller and remember that I too,  have a voice.

We will miss her terribly. She was the one who gave me hope that I would not remember the pain of giving birth to my first child. She gave me a "home maintenance"book when we bought our first house. She remembered my kids'  birthdays and Christmas, even though she had about a million great grand kids. My oldest still has a purse she crocheted for her when she was two and her "boot" is on my tree every year.

Some of us are lucky to be born into fabulous families and some of us are found by families. I have had the pleasure of having both happen to me. Grandmother was the best. She will be terribly missed. 


  1. Oh wow! What a great woman!!! Thank you for sharing those stories.

    I hope that your family is flooded with tons of great memories of her right now as you go through this time of loss.

  2. Thank you Tanya. It was beautiful; it came from a beautiful author. Love you.

  3. She sounds like an amazing lady and a wonderful grandmother. Thanks for sharing this with us.