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It's Really Been 33 Years?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of my grandmother's death. She had just turned 56 barely a month before. Lung cancer is what got her.

She wasn't the cookie baking, gray haired grandma. As a matter of fact when I was born her mother said her baby was too young to be a grandmother and I would call her by her name, Denia.

Denia was incredible. One thing she taught me was how to bet on the horses. One of her favorite tricks was to "station" my aunt and me in different areas of the track. She'd have us look at the racing forms like we were confused. Soon men would come over to the damsels in distress and help us choose a horse.

The three of us would then meet back up and go over the "tips" we received. We used the covert info, made a decision and placed our bets. It was a pretty good system. Never mind that I was 13 and you had to be 18 to get into the track. My aunt would put make up on me, my grandmother would make me toss the bubble gum and off we'd go.

Denia liked flash, she liked bling and she was beautiful. Striking was a word I heard a lot from the people that would stop us just to tell her how stunning she was. I was always proud to be seen with her. She had a sophisticated style about her. She carried herself like royalty, to me she was.


Denia had this plant in her home, a diffenbachia. When she died in 1977 my mother took it. After my mom was killed my dad tried to let the plant die, but my sister would see it droop and water it. When Dad died, Tina took it.

Last year my sister sent me this tiny cutting of the plant and it's taken off and grown like wild fire. I look at it with amazement. My plant is part of my grandmother that still lives. I see it every day. I think of her every day. My kids have already claimed the plant after my death. They seem to be claiming a lot of things lately.....I wonder if they have plans?



Oh, I'm going to try to finish Mary tomorrow!

23 comments:

Snowbrush December 18, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

What a soulful new photo you have.

Lung cancer was what killed Baxter.

My father died here--in this house--in 1994, and I still have his peace lily. I actually didn't want it, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, so I figured I would just keep it until it died--how long could THAT be after all? Well, I've since concluded that peace lilies never die unless you fucking murder them. They just keep expanding and expanding until you either have a houseful of peace lilies, or you give away and/or compost the new additions. Fortunately, I've become attached to the plant.

The Bipolar Diva December 18, 2010 at 11:16 AM  

Snow, my friend I have missed you!

Cheeseboy December 18, 2010 at 11:50 AM  

A grandmother that taught you how to bet on horses? Now THAT is some really cool stuff. My own father wouldn't have done that for me.

Pat December 18, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

That's a nice memory of your Grandmom. When my friend's Mom died, my friend passed out small ivy plants because her Mom wanted people to remember her in a happy way. I had that plant for the longest time. Then I gave it to my sister to take care of while we were on the road and it died. I felt so bad.

The Bipolar Diva December 18, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

Cheeseboy, isn't that the coolest?

Pat, that's so sad.

Tricia December 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM  

I love that the plant has flourished - that's awesome!

And your grandma sounds like a helluva lot more fun than mine was. Mine was a child molester.

Allyson & Jere December 18, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

What a cool plant that is, and rather hearty too. That is so awesome that you can have a piece of your wonderful Grandma with you STILL. Stupid lung cancer, ah hell, just STUPID cancer period, it's awful. Sorry you had to lose her so young.

Snowbrush December 18, 2010 at 3:10 PM  

Well, you stopped visiting me, babe, so I stopped visiting you. I know that sounds a little odd to say, but it's so darn hard to even keep up with my regular readers. You know how it is. Without looking, I'll bet you have a lot more readers than I do, or, if not actual readers, at least people who are signed up as actual readers. God forbid that they all actually did come around.

The Bipolar Diva December 18, 2010 at 4:16 PM  

No, Snow I didn't stop visiting you. I've been fighting a bout of depression that almost won. I sent you an email.

The Bipolar Diva December 18, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

Allyson;

cancer is horrible, no smoking for me.

Aunt of 14 December 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

Oh, I love that, the plant being carried through generations. That is just beyond cool.

Your grandma sounds like my kinda lady! My own grandma insisted I call her Penny or Nana, no Grandma for her either.

I tried to send you an email the other day, but then I realized that the info had changed and I misplaced it. Im hoping you'll send me another message sometime soon! :)

Snowbrush December 18, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

I'm so sorry that you've been low, Sweetie. I've been taking Sam-e for arthritis, but I think it has helped my usual winter doldrums too. I've been through lots of anti-depressants, and I would say that Sam-e works as well as any of them, and it doesn't come with the crappy side effects.

W.C.Camp December 18, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

Wow she sounded like a true inspiration. I like that the plant lives on - it is comforting. Nice post. W.C.C.

MarkD60 December 19, 2010 at 4:17 AM  

33 years ago was 1977. My Grandfather died in 1976. He was born in 1895. I went and visited his farm a few years ago. His workshed looked like he had just left it 5 minutes ago. My old wagon was in the barn and his mailbox with his name on it.
Your post brought back a lot of memories, and I wish I could find something like your plant from my Grandfather.

Sarahf December 19, 2010 at 7:01 PM  

What a great Grandma, and a lovely story.

Rob-bear December 19, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Your Grandma was a Diva; you're a Diva. It just runs in the family. Now the picture is much clearer!

I remember trying to transplant some trees from my parents' home to our place before they died. It was a bad year for canker worms, and the trees didn't survive after we transplanted them. Sigh.

Classic NYer December 20, 2010 at 2:40 AM  

I think I would have liked to have met your grandmother.

Classic NYer December 20, 2010 at 2:42 AM  

You know, come to think of it, my mother has a plant just like that one. It's the only one she hasn't succeeded in killing so far. Mother usually kills plants just by looking at them, haha.

redgirl December 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

my aunt died 13 years ago the same day. she taught me about true love. she had breast cancer. cancer is evil. when my grandmother died i went to her house and dug up alll kinds of flowers to go in my yard to remind me of her

Unknown Mami December 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

She lives on in your heart and in that beautiful plant.

Unknown Mami December 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

She lives on in your heart and in that beautiful plant.

Jakob December 23, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

we dont have plans. those amethyst that where hers are mine thats a huge chunk. and the plant is beuatiful wow you got to go places underaged. i know you loved her. this is a reason not to smoke its se3lfish and is always harmful.

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