I have been away too long, and I thought today was a good day to change that. For reasons I won’t divulge, I haven’t felt much like writing, sharing, or being social lately. The wind was knocked out of my sails, I lost my inspiration, my mojo, my zing. I am still not 100%, but I miss writing, so here I am.
I spent the afternoon and evening with my grandparents yesterday, and my ever supportive and encouraging grandpa noted that I hadn’t written anything in awhile. I’m not sure if he knows how much it means to me that he notices things like that, but I know he is reading this, so, grandpa, thank you.
I decided that on the eve of Mother’s Day I’d tell you all about the woman I am named after—the woman who has never given up on me and who can make me feel restored and right no matter what is happening in my life. Her name is Anita. I call her grandma, and my kids call her Nini. She is my father’s mother. She is kind, gentle, patient, and brilliant. She is simply the best.
Spending long stretches of my summer vacation with her was the best part of my childhood. I loved it. She has since moved from the house that was ‘grandma’s house’ when I was little, but I can still remember the way it smelled. When I dream, I dream of that house, not of the house I grew up in. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve wished for a time machine.
I can still remember how it felt to crawl into bed with her in the morning after my grandpa went to work. We’d just lay there and chat and giggle while I played with her elbows. I’m sure this sounds silly, but it’s a memory that still makes us both laugh. I’d pinch the soft skin of her elbow between my index finger and thumb and it would stay in a little point until she bent her arm, then I’d repeat the process until she made me stop. Her skin was (and still is) so soft and she smells so good. I always take a big breath in when I hug her. Sigh.
My grandmother is the mother of 4 boys—my three uncles and my father. Incredible men with extraordinary brains and personalities. A diplomat, a physics professor and dean, an artist/photographer/graphic designer/mobile app designer and developer/jack-of-all-trades, and an international man of mystery who has worked in many different countries and who makes the best food anyone has ever tasted. All of them are fathers, and in a few days they will all be grandfathers as well. She raised them all. She is the matriarch of the incredible Parris family and she is always there for us all.
My son is 12 now, and when he was a year old I moved in with my grandparents for about a year and to this day that year is my favorite year. The time my son had with his great grandparents—the bond they created—is irreplaceable and I will always treasure it. We still recall moments from time to time, still talk about that year and the memories we have from it. Priceless.
Now I only live about 3 minutes from my grandparents, and I am the luckiest girl in the world for it. Yet, even with our closeness, the craziness of the last several months has kept us from getting together as much as I’d like. I can actually feel when I haven’t spoken with my grandma, like something is physically missing from me. Whenever I feel like that, I pick up the phone and I feel my shoulders relax as soon as I hear her voice and her signature laugh. It is such a rich, heartfelt laugh that makes anyone who hears it feel rewarded.
Oh, and she makes the best cherry pie ever, and it just so happens cherry pie is my favorite. Lucky me, I get one for my birthday every year. Best. Present. Ever.
This is just a tiny glimpse into the greatness of my grandma. I could write an entire book. But, for now, this will do. Happy Mother’s Day.