Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy 100th, Grammy McQuaid

It's my Grammy Mc's 100th birthday today. She died when I was 17, in a fire that was started by the unfiltered Camel cigarettes she'd smoked for more than 60 years. It's funny how we dealt with that as a family-at the time, it was top-fold local news, owing to her connection to said local newspaper, and they ran a story about her on the local TV station, complete with a picture of her large Irish-Catholic brood.

McMumsy has always said it was in some ways a blessing that Grammy went the way she did. She was just starting to get to the point where she couldn't live independently, something she valued highly. And she was briefly revived on the front lawn of her house by the EMTs, which always made me think she poked her head up, took a quick look around, said "Yup, I'm done," and then made her way home.

According to the older generation of cousins, born to Grammy's pre-WWWII children, they only got bananas and other boring healthy crap to eat when they visited. By the time my group came along, it was crap food all the way: frozen Stouffers french bread pizzas, Wise potato chips, hermits, and Hoodsie Cups. The only nod to health was the gum, which was Carefree sugarless.

I have acres of memories of Grammy McQuaid, and they're all good ones. I only get more grateful as the years go by that I got to know her, and spend time with a bunch of wonderful cousins and aunts and uncles at her house every Sunday. It feels in many ways like a big part of the foundation of the happy parts of me. Grammy Mc really was our rock. I miss her and I love her dearly.

Happy Birthday, Grammy, wherever you are...


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