This past week has been an emotional roller coaster. Not only did I run the OKC Memorial Marathon RELAY (no, I did not run 26 miles and 385 yards alone...are you crazy?!) in the cold rain, but things have been more tense than normal at work, Henry has been abnormally defiant and stubborn, and Grandmother Happy has been very sick. So sick, in fact, that I feared Sunday afternoon would be the last time I held her hand. While visiting her in ICU this weekend, I began thinking of all the special things that make her Grandmother Happy.
And before I go on, I'm beyond thrilled to share that Grandmother is doing better and is talking and smiling again. She has an excellent lung specialist, a cardiologist, is surrounded daily by family, AND expects to be home sometime this weekend!
Things I'll always cherish and remember about my Grandmother Happy...
1) She is a lady.
2) She loves her children (all 5), her grandchildren (all 15), and even her great grandchildren (all 4). Unconditionally.
3) She loves the color white. Everything is white. Her kitchen in Edmond, for example, had white tile, white cabinets, white counter tops, a white kitchen table and chairs. EVERYTHING was white.
4) She loves mirrors. I'd be willing to bet there is (and has always been) a mirror in every room of her home.
5) Given the choice, she will always choose gold (unless white is an option).
6) She is a talented story teller. Some of my fondest memories with Grandmother Happy include laying on her and Papa Bo's giant king-sized bed listening to her read stories from The World's Best Fairy Tales. I still have the two volumes of fairy tales she and Papa Bo gave me on my 2nd birthday. Inside the cover, Grandmother Happy wrote "Michal Michelle, Happy Second Birthday - We love you! Grandmother Happy & Grandpa Bo"
7) After her stories, we would take afternoon naps. I always slept well in her bed, next to her. After our nap, I would always wake up to Grandmother fixing her hair. She would brush her long, white (does the color surprise you?) hair and then gently pull it back into a loose, but perfectly knotted bun.
8) Hugging each and every one of the four posts to that bed.
9) Grandmother's beautiful handwriting.
10) Her long fingernails. They were always perfect and a bright shade of pink. Excellent for back scratching.
11) Sitting on her lap, or next to her in the formal living room (in Edmond), and playing with her gold bracelets. She must have worn half a dozen at a time. Very trendy.
12) She calls her nice things her "pretties".
13) Spaghetti-O's are always better at her house.
14) Peppermint ice cream.
15) Picking up "hang yangs" (otherwise known as hamburgers) from Braum's.
16) How she loves Papa Bo...any time Grandpa does anything special for her, her response is always "OH, PAPA". One of best suprises must have been the time Papa Bo slipped a new ring on her finger while she was sleeping.
17) She is beautiful. As a little girl, I remember hoping to someday be as beautiful as Grandmother Happy. And she is as beautiful on the inside as she is the outside.
18) Counting and admiring her jewelry, especially her pendants. Years ago, she let each granddaughter chose one. This was my choice -
19) Christmas is never about gifts...although she and Papa inevitably surprised all 15 grandchildren with something for ages...Christmas, and every holiday, is always about family and giving thanks.
20) How Henry always wants to go to "Happy's House".
21) She loves to laugh.
22) She was always there, to share in all the greatest, most joyful days.
Me and my Grandmother Happy on my wedding day