Shirley Temples and Don Ho

My grandmother is turning 99 this month, and she is tired. At 99, she has survived The Depression, a divorce, cancer, losing her son and all but one of her seven siblings.

What you need to know is that my grandmother has always been a doer and the center of planning parties. Vibrant. She LOVED to eat out because cooking was tedious. Christmas was either catered or going out. Christmas Parties were mingle only with easy finger foods and a full bar. She could make a mean Shirley Temple, and it made me feel all grown up with my little non-alcoholic cocktail:

She has always found a way to look forward to the next thing to do. But now her 99 reasons why are heavy and make her tired. She wants rest. Peace. Short visits and to outlive her younger sister. No long visits on holidays or any other day.

I still see my grandmother, and I still get to have conversations and give her hugs. We will talk about her infamous tomato aspic, how she loves wearing hats to go out because that is what a proper southern woman does, but she also likes to hear a good dirty joke. She still wants to call her sister when Old Miss loses to Arkansas and be hoity-toity with her, but she won’t because she can’t remember how to make a call on her own.

She tells me that she wants the Hawaiian Wedding song by Don Ho played at her funeral as folks walk in and maybe a few hymns, but nothing too sad because there is nothing to be sad about. Why wish her back when she will be where she wants to be.







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