I originally wrote this as my Listen To Your Mother submission. I have since changed my mind, as I wanted to share something a bit more light-hearted & comedic with the KC audience. I still feel like this has it’s place, here, in print.
I have snapshots in my mind of moments with my grandma. I loved her dearly, and adored spending time with her. My grandmother, Neena, as we all called her, always had the refrigerator loaded in anticipation of my arrival- all the favorites-ice cream, oranges, hamburgers or home made fried chicken. She would let me watch as much cable TV as I wanted: Golden Girls and Dallas at night, Pinwheel on Nickelodeon in the morning.
She would get on the floor and play board games, cards, & dolls, even though it wasn’t easy for her to get back up, after broken back bones and a hip. We’d take special trips to McDonald’s, and she’d always trade me her Quarter Pounder for my Happy Meal Cheeeseburger.
She would light up at the sight of any of her children & grandchildren, and smiled from ear to ear when all of her tribe was together, usually for a holiday or birthday.
Sadly, my Neena, one of my favorite people in the world, and Queen of grandmothers, passed away when my oldest, Noel, was just 6 weeks old. Living in another city, they never had the opportunity to meet.
Several years back, when my sons, Noel & Lennon, were 2 & 4, we decided to move our family to Kansas City, where I grew up, and where my parents still lived. Still in the same Brookside home that I grew up in. One month we were visiting, and 8 weeks later, we rented our Texas home out & moved to a house about 2 miles from my parents.
Kansas City was where we belonged – I knew it deep inside me.
Now, my boys have lots and lots of time to spend with their own Neena. Just this week, they went to their Neena and Grandpa’s for a sleepover. Neena let them watch as much Johnny Test as they wanted (and probably another program that they all pinky swore
they wouldn’t tell mom & dad about). They had McDonald’s for dinner, then went to the grocery store for Lunchables & ice cream – rare treats in our home. She probably got on the floor and played with cars or Hex Bugs, even though it’s not easy for her to get up, after breaking her ankle late last year.
Tonight we went to my parents home for a birthday dinner. When she opened the door to let her grandsons in, she beamed. When I sat next to her, as she talked and joked with everyone, she smiled from ear to ear.
Why we were so compelled to pack a 20 zillion foot U-Haul, a dog & 2 young boys up to be in Kansas City, I’ll never know, but I’m so grateful that my children will cherish these memories of their Neena. And they are so lucky that she learned how to be a grandparent from the best.
This is dedicated to my grandmother, Lois Logan, who passed away 7 years ago yesterday, on St. Patrick’s Day. We still miss her every day.