On turning 85.

Not me… my grandmother.

Last night we celebrated my Grandmother’s 85th Birthday! This is my mom’s mother… and she was in total party-time mode! It’s funny seeing my grandmother, every time I look at her and/or watch her, I can see pieces of my mother in her. They’re very different, but very much alike all at the same time. It makes me laugh thinking… “Will this be me in 50 years!?”

My grandmother has lived a very long life… a very full life. I’ve always had a special bond with my grandmother, I actually remember us having hour long conversations by phone when I was like 8 or 9 years old. We’d talk about everything and anything.

Last night my mother hosted a birthday party for her at her house! It was a wonderful night! When we left my grandmother’s birthday party last night, I couldn’t help but think about all the pieces that have made up her life. She’s part of the reason I even exist… that’s a pretty incredible thing to think about. Her history led to my history… and then to my sons histories. Life is a pretty amazing thing when you stop and think about it. And my grandmother… though she wouldn’t think it… has lived a pretty incredible life…

My grandmother is and always has been a TRUE FASHIONISTA! People think I’m nuts when I say I love to go shopping all the time. I don’t have to be buying anything, I just thoroughly enjoy walking around seeing the clothes… spotting trends and styles, finding some great deals and telling people about them… it’s what I love to do. My grandmother – she’s RIGHT THERE WITH ME. She’d go shopping with me from sun up, till sun down. She loves to look pretty. She loves to buy new things for her wardrobe. I’ll never forget helping her move 10 years ago from one of her apartment’s… we were packing her closet up and came across a scoop neck shirt she had in (no joke) over 12 different colors and variations. We were like, “Grandma! Are you joking?” And she just smiled and said, “I loved the shirt, so I bought it in all of its colors.” That’s the kind of grandmother I have. And I understand that philosophy more than anyone!

My grandmother lost my grandfather at a very early age… he was 42 years old when he suddenly died one morning of a heart attack. It changed her life. Her security blanket and love disappeared – in a flash. I remember asking my grandmother how she coped… and she said, “I just had to.” I see her now, all 4 feet, 11 inches of her (I may be giving her a few inches!) and I cannot fathom in my mind how she coped. She was alone at the point, all her kids were grown… and she had to go to work and be the “woman” of the house. Everything changed for her at that moment in time… and she rose to the occasion. It still astounds me.

My grandmother doesn’t miss a birthday… an anniversary… or a holiday (I’ve always gotten Halloween cards and St. Paddy’s Day cards from her, too!). She loves a good card… and written letter. When my sons send her a card, it’s on display forever. That’s how she is. The thing that is adorable about my grandmother is that she picks out cards for each of us. And I’m serious… she picks. it. out. It has to be the perfect message. I know she doesn’t just walk into CVS and pluck a random card, it’s a I’ll-be-here-for-an-hour-finding-the-perfect-card type pluck.

There’s a million things that make my grandmother very special and distinct to me… her love of the color pink, her weekly hair appointments, her love of family, her lipstick shade, her love of salads with everything on the side, her comforting words at times of need, a shoulder to vent to, someone for her to vent to, her excitement when she sees my sons… it’s truly everything and anything. She’s a very special lady to me, and I love that I got to celebrate her 85th birthday with her!

Not to mention… I was able to get her online so she can get email and read MomGenerations.com… I love you, Grandma! Happ-Happ-Happy Birthday!!

On turning 85. was last modified: April 14th, 2010 by Audrey McClelland
SHOWHIDE Comments (4)
  1. Sounds like a truly special lady! I am sure that she had a wonderful time celebrating with those she loves all around her! A beautiful tribute. xoxo

  2. It sounds like a great celebration. I love that she had 12 of the same shirt in different colors. I am guilty of doing that myself… if I like a shirt or a tank top, I’ll end up buying every color of the rainbow!

  3. Audrey, I have NO doubt that this will be you in 50 years. I can really see from looking at your mom and Grandma, that strong women run in your family, like you and Jane. So glad rita enjoyed her celebration.

On turning 85. was last modified: April 14th, 2010 by Audrey McClelland