Happy Birthday Grams!!

DSC06130Tonight my family and I are celebrating my grandmother’s 92nd birthday!  Is that not the coolest?

Her birthday was actually earlier this week but this is when we are celebrating.

This is a picture of me with Grams 6 years ago (when she was 86 — she looks great, don’t you think?).  We were at the Tennessee Smokies baseball game with my parents and my aunt.  It was a fun evening!!  We went again this summer with all of them and Ian went as well.  It was fun to add another generation to our fun.  Unfortunately my husband wasn’t able to come with us.

Grams (aka Fran) is quite a gal! She loves having the family together to celebrate events.  We make big deals about everyone’s birthday and hers is truly a party!

Since her 90th birthday, for her birthday, we have been getting everyone together in the church fellowship hall, have enjoyed barbecue, baked beans, cole slaw (her favorite), cake and some wine along with it.

I enjoy this family tradition and especially enjoy celebrating her life. We will laugh and tell tales, enjoy being together and I will thank my lucky stars (actually my Lord) for being a part of this family.

Grams likes a good bottle of wine, real cheese, a sunset over the ocean, sailing, gardening, reading, and being with her loved ones.  She was born in 1921 — one year into the roaring 20s.  Life was quite different when she came into the world.

I remember a conversation once with her about the jobs available to a woman when she started working.  There were only four — teacher, nurse, secretary, and librarian.  She chose secretary and worked for many years.

She worked in the era when people could smoke at their desks, took shorthand, dialed a rotary phone, and if you made a mistake in typing your letter, you had to reset the paper and mimeograph paper for the copies.  No computers and backspaces available then.  I don’t know if I could have done this work like she did.

Since none of these were my chosen profession, I am glad that times have changed since then.  I do like that women have so many more career options.  I appreciate women like my grandmother who blazed the trail for me.

She had some tough times in her life, but always managed to pick herself up and carry on.  Grams is an inspiration to me.  She doesn’t let people or circumstances get her down but instead plows ahead.

She became a widow way to young when my grandfather passed away suddenly.  I never knew him but have heard so much about him my entire life that I feel that I know him.  Although he is in Heaven, he is still part of the family and our special angel!

For as long as I can remember, Grams hasn’t been shy about sharing her opinion — whether you wanted to hear it or not.  Sometimes not, but she had kernels of wisdom.  She was, however, usually blunt.

Last summer I had some time to talk to her one-on-one at the beach.  She came with us to the family beach house for a short time and it was great! Hearing her opinion on a variety of subjects was really nice.

One evening, I was on the beach with her, my father (her son), and my son.  She wanted to get her feet wet so we all went down to enjoy that moment with her.  And, let me tell you something, it was amazingly special!!!  Having the four generations there with our feet in the sand and surf is unforgettable!  We tried taking pictures but they didn’t turn out very well.

I hope to have other special moments with her.  I cherish each one that I now have and am so thankful that Ian is getting to know her.  For her birthday, he has chosen some of his special items to give to her.

We love you Grams very much!  We wish you a very Happy Birthday!  May you enjoy your 9th decade as much as the rest!