Skip to main content

Spunk & Spirit: My Grandma

This past Saturday, my Grandma Rice died. After seven years or so of Alzheimer's, and something ridiculous like two and half years of hospice (isn't that some kind of record?), she left this world for the next one. It wasn't a surprise, and I'm so grateful that she no longer has to inhabit the half-life of dementia, but it is still a loss. She had such a spirit about her: practical (she taught me how to scrub under my nails, a chore I still hate), generous in humor (even in the midst of her illness, there were flashes of her spunky self when she'd insert her ineffable wit), steadfast in her determination that all her grandchildren marry and have babies (repeatedly stating, "I'm the only one on my block who doesn't have great-grandchildren!). She flirted with my boyfriend when she met him, calling him "a doll," and refusing to let go of his hand. And she was so encouraging, declaring many times in the last decade that it was "just wonderful" that I was writing, even when I could tell she was just pretending to know who I was, and her encouragement has been rich food for my soul.  


Bess Rice, enroute to visit family

She's the second gal from the left sporting roller skates

She liked to say that her hobby was people, and she could have a two-hour conversation with a seat mate without any shared language. Her long, looping stories about her neighbors, life-long friends, and strangers revealed her deep interest in other people's lives and could sometimes drive you crazy if you lost the thread.

Her sense of humor and spunky spirit are a left-behind treasure for those of us who knew her, and I picture her entering a beautiful den, complete with cozy chairs and fireplace, to tell the friends and family members already waiting for her all the many stories she's collected along the way. Love you Grandma. Thank you for being mine.    
  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Litquake 2012 Report

I've been avoiding putting this together, because a part of me really doesn't want this year's Litquake festival to be over already.  The other part of me is still cranky-tired, wandering around trying to get to all those projects I said I'd get to after Litquake, and feeling post-Christmas like. In short, this year's Litquake was AMAZING.  Every year has been awesome, but this one was particularly special for me because I got to actually help plan the awesome.  As a volunteer during the festival for the past several years, I definitely felt like I contributed to making each event I helped at awesome, but this year, being on the committee,* I got to witness the tremendous build up to the festival that happens the whole year prior.  The amount of love, sweat and time that goes into it is incredible, and I'm not sure I've ever been part of something so cool.  Which is not to say I'm not still cranky-tired and looking forward to feeling fully recovered.

What To Expect When You Are Expecting A Pandemic

“When I think about all that has to transpire to get from pregnancy to the birth, I am overwhelmed by time and the unknown. It’s not useful to contemplate. There is only today, and it is good.” I documented my move from ambivalence about parenting, to IVF, to motherhood, as well as all of Year One. I did it longhand because that’s what I did back then. So now, finally, I’m typing all those pages up, in part because of the great What If that living amid a pandemic creates. And I came across this yesterday and it is so true for the current moment, for this, the fifth week of Sheltering in Place. Ways this time is like pregnancy: It can make you fat. It will definitely make you crave near-constant meals and snacks. You will swing from feeling good to anxiety-laden, angry, irritable and back again several times a day. You will want to know how this will all unfold, how hard it will get, exactly how you and your life will be changed. You can’t know any of that. Ther

New writing desk!

I promise to talk about less domestic things at some point, but I'm still in that critical nesting-the-place-up mode.  And I just bought a desk!  Now, I did have a writing desk in my old place.  It was also my breakfast nook, dining room table and chopping block.  It served its purposes well.  It had been in my family's home as a kitchen work surface, then I adopted it when I lived in Chico (way back in '96-'99) and used it as a dining room table.  Then it lived in my kind, former roommate's family's barn for a few years while I was away at Seminary, and she kindly gifted it back, complete with little mouse teeth nibble marks when I moved into San Francisco.  That table and I had history.  I wrote a memoir of all the homes I'd lived in on it, all of my MFA papers were written there, and the novel that I finished earlier this year was entirely drafted and re-crafted there.  And given my proclivity to inanimate object loyalty (see The Blue Armchair ), I felt b