Monday, November 21, 2011

Fond memories

Last week, we said goodbye to my grandmother.  She was my dad's mom, and until I was 11, the only grandmother I knew.  Because my dad didn't get along with my mom's family, until their divorce, we only spent time with his side.  So, for 11 years, we spent summer afternoons, holidays, and birthdays with my Grandma.  After the divorce, I didn't get to see her as much.  She was always very kind and welcoming to my mom and I still spent some weekends with her, but our lives got busy and there was less and less time to go see Grandma.  I haven't spent much time with her over the past 20 years, but I do still have many fond memories of her that I would like to share.
My Grandma was Miss Massachusetts!  Pretty cool, huh?  She survived three husbands and one of her five biological children (three girls and two boys).  She also adopted three more children (one girl and two boys), one of whom was my closest friend growing up as we were only one year apart.

My Grandma loved dogs and always had them, from giant slobbering great white Samoyeds to disciplined, trained German Shepherds.  I think I got my love of dogs (and animals in general) from her.

My Grandma LOVED McDonald's.  I think in part, it is because she always remembered how good it was when they first started and actually served real meat in their burgers.  Anyways, she would take us there on the weekends and she would always order extra pickles, like, a small cup of pickles!

My Grandma often wore polyester pants, sweatshirts with kitties or dogs on them and a turtleneck.  She was always comfortable, but she was also always very primped.  Her silvery-white hair was short on the sides and curled on top - the classic Grandma look!

She wore Jean Nate.  There was always Dial soap in her bathroom.  Today, I cannot used original Dial soap without thinking of her.

She was our "Grandma with the pool".  We loved swimming in her above ground pool, making whirlpools, playing Marco Polo and perfecting our flips and handstands.  I also learned how to do the "Ariel" in her pool. :)

She lied about her age pretty much since the day she was born!  B and I went to an 80 birthday party for her about 11 years ago and that was the first time I ever really knew how old she was.  She was 91 when she passed away.  I do regret that I wasn't able to see her much these last couple of years.  From what my family tells me, she probably wouldn't have remember me anyways due to the Alzheimer's. 

Eleanor Myrle (Woodward) Wright had 8 children, 18 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.  She loved her family, as well as reading and the weekend garage sale.  Thank you for the fond memories and time spent together Grandma.  I hope you knew that I loved you and had a special place in my heart for you.

A good sampling of family in a polaroid, so you know its old school! I'm the one in the pink and white striped dress, bottom left. My brother is to the right in the orange and grey striped shirt with the bowl cut.  My Grandma and Grumpy Grandpa are right above me. 

My Grandma on her 88th birthday with two of her great-grandchildren.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your memories of Grandma Wright. I feel like I know her a bit better know.(For example, her full name.)
I hope you're alright.

Anonymous said...

Simply Beautiful Melissa -

Thank you for sharing your memories of our Grandmother......Your words touched my heart....

Us too shared most of our childhood with Nana Wright and Uncle Bill......we were with them most all weekends along with every birthday and all holidays throughout our was there we developed a true meaning of Family Togetherness.

Nana Wright (as we referred to her) was a one of a kind woman. She had a stern demeanor that came with a soft touch and a genuine smile.....I can still hear her clear as day saying "BBBIIILLL" with a sassy look and a playful voice. Uncle Bill would response back "what Elli" with a shitty grin on his face, (like he got the response he was looking for)....
This back and forth dialog went on day after day.....I think it was their way of saying I love you.....They were such a great loving couple with some hills to climb at times but all in all they showed us Love and laughter.....

One fond memory I have of Nana Wright was she loved gum....(Juicy Fruit) was her favorite and was always on day I was being punished and sent to the corner for my penence, (again).....about 1/2 hour into my punishment, Nana Wright looked at me with that Grandmother look and put her finger to her lips and said "shhh" then slipped me a piece of Juicy Fruit and said don't tell your mother......I then had to finish my time chewing quietly so my mom wouldn't see my was those kind of things that Nana Wright did to show you she loved you no matter what.......

Thank you again Melissa for sharing all of those memories of Grandma Wright/Nana Wright with us..... She will be missed and thought of often......WE LOVE YOU NANA WRIGHT!!!!!!

Melissa - Love to you and your family, Shari

melbry15 said...

Thanks Shari! I think I was too young to appreciate her sassiness as much as you did! Thank you for sharing!

My Mom shared with me today that my Grandma was very kind to her and was always there for her from she was 14! I didn't even know she and my dad knew each other that long!

Arizona Biltmore said...

Thanks for sharing....this is exactly what I remember about her and probably because we spent most of our time living outside Mass., we didn't get to see her but once, maybe twice a year as kids. I also remember her love of Dunkin Donuts blueberry muffins and we'd always stop and get her some on our way over.

Miss you all and wish we could have been there this week. Xoxo Becky

Anonymous said...

Reading all of these just brings me to tears... How so many little things mean so much to all of us! Shari I remember that exact thing when she would put her finger to her lips and say shhh... Dont tell your mother. I miss you all very much. XOXO Abbie
Melissa thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Just a few of my memories:
Being allowed to drink Coffee, which was really a tad bit of coffee and alot of milk.
Milk with Ice cubes and Grilled cheese with ketchup (which I still do!) Melissa I remember the day your dad jumped off Nana's roof into the pool! I thought she was going to strangle him! We never could get that whirlpool going very well! I think too many of us had short legs!
Thanks for the memories.

Love to everyone,