My grandpa and grandma met on Coronado Island.
As the story goes, he was a handsome navy seal, she was vacationing with her overbearing grandmother. A mere 19-years-old, she was a beauty with her bobbed brown hair, flawless skin, and painted lips. He was entranced and she was longing for freedom. The year was 1946 and they married soon after.
Later, they had four daughters on a house on the hill – all with classic names – Anne, Mary Elizabeth, Janet, and Susan. The second born was my mother.
As far as I know, my grandma started every single morning of her life by reading the newspaper – even after newspapers fell out of style. She actually read the thing from front to back, the paper crinkling between her fingers as she flipped the pages. She did the crossword puzzles too, pencil in hand.
She read books by the stack. On vacation, she checked out plastic-bound hardcovers from the library. One of my most distinct memories of her is on a beach chair in the front of a rental house or sitting at the kitchen table, lost behind a book.
Although she adored fiction, she pushed those books aside to read THE book too – using pen to write in notes, the living word breathing beneath her fingers and taking root in her heart.
She liked to eat cantaloupe for breakfast. If we came over at dinnertime, she almost always made a very large Caesar salad.
On the rare (but exciting) occasion when she took us shopping, we went to Macy’s – a store that seemed extravagant and lavish to me, the third in a family of six children. The lights flooded the immaculate aisles and the escalators tantalized with dissolving silver steps.
She wore lipstick, no matter the hour or the place (a trait I’ve since assumed).
Even though she came from a “children should be seen and not heard” generation and sometimes acted accordingly, I knew – deep down – that she loved us and that she loved her Savior most of all.
I will miss her.
In loving memory of my grandmother who passed away on November 4, 2014.