That’s the bad news. My oldest siblings get everything first. Including nicknames. The good news is better however. About a year ago, my oldest son got married. Then a few months later, went on his honeymoon to Hawaii. True to some family honeymoon tradition (hahaha) they got pregnant with their first child. Unexpectedly, Jim and I found ourselves not only becoming new in-laws but grandparents-to-be.
Now lots of my friends have children much older than mine. I didn’t start my family until my late 30’s so while my youngest used to beg me to dye my gray hair “Mom, people think you are my grandmom” he cried in first grade, it left the two of us young in spirit. Then my oldest got married so young (for today that is) and well, soon in just a few weeks, I will be able to join that special club where you get to have all the lovin’ in the world and send them home. (Who would want to?)
But, not feeling like a grandma yet, especially since I do color my locks every four weeks, I had to choose a name that didn’t say “old lady with now dyed hair”. My sister chose “GiGi” and my other, “MiMi” which leaves me with only one name as far as I am concerned.
How many of you all growing up in the 60’s remember this box? It’s official, I’m Lolli and Jim is Pop – and this comes from a Mom who named her kids Bill and Ted for fun. They took the good names, they won!
When I was a little girl growing up, my siblings and I got to visit my Nana’s once a week. She and Bop (my grandfather) also took me frequently to dance lessons and I absolutely adored my time with my grandmother. She had this really pretty skin and a funny laugh and I was proud to be her namesake (along with my cousin Peggy). Nana had that even-kind of personality and had all the time in the world for her many grandchildren. It’s funny what you remember the best about them.
They also had the most fascinating spoons that were faceted which we would use when we had pudding (which was frequently) out of their Fiesta tableware that my aunt stupidly pitched in the 1970’s (holy cow the value of that Fiesta Ware alone could put a kid through medical school). My sisters and I would fight over the turquoise bowls and to this date they are still my favorite color to collect. They always had coke bottles for us when we visited and this really scarey (copy) Picasso. Don Draper would be proud how their home on Howard was decorated and we shared many good times at their home – from St. Patrick Day parties to times hanging the original 1950’s bubble lights on their Christmas Tree.
Well today, 4th of July, marks the death of Nana, who decided NOT to go out quietly like a good Irishman, and although my brother will know year certain, I believe it was in 1979. At the time I was in college finishing my senior year, in the Rockies and I remember that night, walking outside the place where I was tending bar, watching the fireworks when I heard the news. It was a sad night for me being a thousand miles from home but being in Colorado, the night was clear and the stars numbered in the millions. I secretly said to myself that I could never see fireworks again without thinking of her and being here just minutes from Disney where fireworks are an every day event, that promise has not gone unfulfilled.
Last night, my husband and I saw the fireworks at Magic Kingdom – as they have a fantastic double display to celebrate the 4th and recorded the following video. Tonight we go to Epcot to see the display there – which are filled with wonderful music celebration and both nights at least a 25 minute show. Nana, you have some incredible grandchildren and great grand children and quite a few double greats. For those of us who were privileged to truly know her, likely from cousin Teddy and up, you made all of our lives special. Your children, our parents, were so much fun as they all inherited the twinkle of mischievousness that you owned so well. From you, they taught us kindness and compassion, love of country and of family. I am so grateful that I was blessed to know you through my college days, though your last few years, like many, you were plagued with dementia. Thank you for giving me my dad, your unwavering love and devotion to family. Have a good time up there – and I will be thinking about you because every time I see fireworks I think, that is God celebration your residence.