Last week was…. interesting.
There were several bumps in the road and there is lots I want to share. But I haven’t been able to write. I’ve been processing what to say.
I guess I should start by telling you that my grandmother passed away. I got the call from my Aunt who was the primary caregiver for her. My Grandma Betty was 83 years old and was slowly being over taken with dementia. It wasn’t unexpected, but it was still hard in that she has always been an incredibly strong, Irish Catholic woman with a sharp mind. And dementia unmercifully strips all of that away.
The reason that I share all of this here is… well, it’s not that we had a warm and fuzzy relationship. She wasn’t the kind of grandma that baked cookies with me and let me cuddle in her lap and read books together. But I knew that she was there and supportive and she was incredibly proud of me (and now my family). But I tell you this because she is one of the influences for me in writing this blog.
For decades my grandmother was an antiques dealer with her own shop and she travelled all around the Los Angeles area (and beyond) doing road shows. She was a walking encyclopedia on a variety of things and if there was something she didn’t know, she knew EXACTLY who would.
Part of my joy in learning about the background of a piece of furniture or home accent comes from her and growing up listening to story after story about anything under the sun. With a twinkle in her eye, she could tell you about the history of a piece and why it was significant… or not. She could quickly assess the value of something and more importantly (for an antiques dealer, anyway) she could easily spot if someone was trying to screw her in a negotiation. She was strong and direct and called em’ like she saw them.
On her last visit to Portland, we had talked about my passion for sewing for the home and refurbishing furniture. And on one of her outings, she picked up this upholstery book for me.
It’s well out of date and it meant the world that she would be so encouraging. It’s actually pretty informative too!
So… in the next few weeks, I get to return home to LA for funeral services and to see family. And even though it’s for a sad occasion, I can honestly tell you that I can’t wait to go. I can’t wait to go home, to where I grew up, to see people that have known me forever, to laugh, to cry and to share stories. History is important and our stories are a part of who we are. I don’t have a tenth of the knowledge that my grandmother had, but I’m learning. And I hope that I can honor those stories that I learn along the way thru my writing.
And thanks for taking the time to read and to share. I’m so blessed by you!