Why it’s important to know the color of your grandmother’s eyes

When I was a little girl, my parents did a great job in including my 2 grandmothers and my paternal grandfather in everything we did. If there was a swim meet. They were there. If there was a softball game. They were there. If there was a school play. They were there. If there was a awards ceremony. They were there. They were like this with everything. As a child, it meant the world to me to have a supportive family. It always made me feel special.

As I grew older and became a teenager and then a young adult, it was the same way. Proms. 1st days of school. Meeting the boyfriends. Going off to college. They were there. It was never suffocating, it was just always something that they wanted to be at because it meant something to them. They wanted to be there. They wanted to have that bond. That relationship.

My grandfather passed away my junior year of college, so then it just became my 2 grandmothers. Nana and Grandma… Flo and Rita.

I was always close to them two of them. Always. I don’t know what it was about me with them, but I always loved being with them and just getting to know them better and better. I can’t tell you how many times I called both of them throughout my life and just talked for hours. It’s something now that makes me smile because it was something that was so innocent, but meant to much and left a beautiful impression. I loved hearing stories about my parents as kids and most of all, they just wanted to talk about life and laugh and hear about what I wanted to be and become… someday.

My Nana passed away 6 years ago. It was a huge loss for me. She was an anchor to me in many ways and it was very difficult to let go. She lived to be 89 years old. She saw so much in her life and if there was any peace about her leaving… it was that she lived for her family and left knowing that we loved her so much. One gift I felt I was able to give her 5 years later was naming my Victoria after her… my Victoria Florence Margaret.

My grandmother, Rita… is my mom’s mother. She is 89 years old now herself. She is and always has been to me just pure love and support. My mother sees her about 3-4 times a week and it’s something that my grandmother, as she’s gotten older, needs. My grandma was always the one who worked out and was the youthful spirit… at 89 years old, she still has a youthful spirit, but her body has been giving her a little bit of a rough time over the last couple of years. I’ll tell you what though, she’s still a little spitfire and she’ll (if you ask her) still try to bet you that she can dance better than you!

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My grandmother came to visit me and the kids yesterday afternoon with my mom. She LOVES seeing the kids, they really do make her light up and just come alive in such a different way. She gets a kick out of seeing me with a daughter and it’s something that I treasure. After she left our house yesterday, my oldest son William asked me, “What color eyes does Grandma Rita have?”

It made me smile.

It made me smile because I knew the answer… green/hazel mix, like mine. Or more, mine like hers.

I knew this. I knew the answer to this question and it meant something to me in that moment. It meant something because I want my sons to know these answers about my parents and my in-laws and about me and my husband someday when their children ask.

There’s a ton of things about my Grandma that I know because I’ve known her… and seen her… and taken the time to ask or listen or be told…

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She’s 4′ 7″…
She drove till about 8 years ago…
She will always order what my mom is having at a restaurant…
She met my grandfather through her sister…
My grandfather (her husband) died at 47 years old and it shook her world…
She loves the color pink…
She loves Gloria Vanderbilt jeans…
She loves shopping. LOVES it…
She takes her coffee with skim milk and a sweetener…
She gets her hair done once a week…
She has lived in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts and California…
She always gives my sons $1 every time she sees them…
She loves blouses with bright colors…
She loves to dance…
She loves to watch the news…
She loves to read romance novels…
She loves Danielle Steel…
She loves to try new makeup products (even at 89!)…
She loves to have photos throughout her house…
She loves to get manicures and pedicures…
She consistently goes to the dentist and her regular doctor appointments, never misses…
She used to be on email and would email her family all the time…
She even has a Facebook account, though she doesn’t really use it…
She always told me I needed a daughter someday…
She says I love you every time we’re together…
She loves seeing if any of the kids have grown taller than her…
She has traveled throughout the world…
She used to love being in her bowling league…
She would prefer to take the stairs or an elevator any day (now it’s gotten tough for her, so it’s not an option)…
She reads the newspaper every single day…
She always gives me coupons of stuff that she’s clipped for me…
She loves to change up her handbags…
She loves shoes that she can “slide into”…
She never married or even dated (couple of dates, but nothing serious) after my grandfather died…
She’s been blonde for over 35 years…
She loves to watch movies…
She loves a delicious dessert…
She owns about 100 pairs of shoes…
She always used to buy an item in every color if she loved it enough…
She loves to get Kohl’s gift cards for Christmas…
She still loves to grocery shop (with my mom)…
She does her own laundry…
She used to have an exercise bike in her apartment for years and years and years…
She was still doing weights and sit-ups up till about 10 years ago at the gym and at home…
She takes her time to find the perfect card to send her family…
She loves to hold hands with my sons…
She cried when I told her I was pregnant with my 1st child and naming him after her husband…
She came to NYC to visit me after I had William and Alex…
She (still) tells me that she can stay with the kids if I need to run anywhere…
Sh allows everything to roll off her back and I have always tried to take a cue from her with that…
She has a tremendous amount of life in her…
She has a cell phone…
She loves a strawberry shake from McDonald’s…
She goes by Rita, but her “real” name is Mary…

There’s many, many more…

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I thank my parents for building this relationship years and years and years ago with us and our grandparents. It started with them and as we’ve all gotten older, we’ve all melded out our own special relationships. As a parent, I know this and I see this with my own kids and I want this to continue throughout the years.

It’s to know the people in your life.

It’s not JUST your grandparents… it’s your parents… your siblings… your aunts and uncles… your cousins… your “people” who you love. It’s taking that time to sit and listen and discover.

It goes a long way and it’s something in this day and age that we’re slowly moving away from with all of this technology. It’s something that I plan to hang on to for dear life with my children and the people in their lives.

Why it’s important to know the color of your grandmother’s eyes was last modified: August 22nd, 2014 by Audrey McClelland
SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. You have beautifully captured the absolute love that you feel for your Grandparents! And you and Matt and your brothers and sister and their spouses have included Mom and I in the day to day happenings of your lives with your families, for which we are so thankful for and feel truly blessed to be able to be in this situation. Thanks Honey for taking the time to document this and for reminding us all to take the time to spend “real” time with the ones we love!

  2. Rita is the best and the boundless, endless love that she has for ALL of you is amazing and inspiring! Seeing all of you with her makes me miss my grandparents that much more and so grateful for all of the time I was able to spend with them!! xo

Why it’s important to know the color of your grandmother’s eyes was last modified: August 22nd, 2014 by Audrey McClelland