We got the bad news yesterday that my grandmother, Mary-Ann Bird, has passed away. My father, Aunt, and Uncle were bedside in North Carolina after she was admitted to the hospital with a bad blood Bourne infection.
It is interesting the things that come to mind when you think back and remember your time with a grandparent. My most vivid memories are of our yearly winter visits to New Jersey while the parents worked in NYC. I can clearly remember the house, particularly the recliner (the first I had ever seen I imagine) and the crust-less PB&J sandwiches our grandmother would make for my sister and I. Can't imagine anyone other than a grandmother going to such trouble.
I also vividly remember our visits to Bay Head, and the old family house we would all visit. Days were filled on the beach and playing whiffleball or ping pong in the basement. Evenings were passed doing puzzles or playing cards. My grandmother was quite the card shark and she taught us all well. I can still perfectly picture sitting with her, Bob, and Sierra and trying to learn bridge one of the last times we visited them on the shore.
I unfortunately saw a lot less of my grandmother once she moved to North Carolina. Sierra and I spent a week down there one of the first summers they lived there. The lake was still a hundred yards from where it would end up along their back yard. She took us horseback riding and spoiled us rotten for a week or so...the kind of stuff grandmothers are perfect for. Since then I have only seen her during her occasional visits to Maine and family weddings, not nearly enough I am afraid to say.
A few years ago we were told after 25+ years that she never liked her original grandmotherly nickname and would prefer to go by Mary-Ann, but old habits die hard and I am sorry if she didn't like it so much, but to me, she will always simply be my Mimi.