Your Love is the Greatest Gift Of All...
And I'm not sure there is a way to keep this post succinct and to the point, but I am going to try.
I have a good relationship with my Grandmother; the woman who isn't biologically related to me, but who married my Grandfather when I was three or four years old. She has been an enormous influence in my life and I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for her and for what she has done in her lifetime.
My Grandmother has a flask that my cousin Kim and I have had our eyes on for years. I remember seeing it for the first time when I was sixteen or so and laughing hysterically that this flask even existed.
My Grandmother informed myself and Kim, when we were around twenty years old, that we had not, in fact, invented the world. Oh, sure, I'd heard that old line about each generation thinking they were the first to discover everything, but she told me plain and simple that my generation was not anything special. She has regailed me with tails of her youth that sound wonderful: Not as harsh or unruly as the nights of clubbing that I have been exposed to; but wild and crazy in a way that I think is respectful and fun.
I don't really know how to describe her because on one hand, she is this elegant, wonderful woman with a soft tone and a polite manner. And then there is her louder side, the side of her that she lets loose now and then, demanding a drink and a cigarette and being sarcastic and hilarious.
This flask has travelled with her through the years, taken her to many a party, been there with her in her appartment long after my Grandfather passed away. We've talked about the flask many times through the years, giggling together over it. I've begged for the flask to be mine one day.
It was a day or two before my Grandfather's funeral that Grandma came to each of the grandkids and said "Now LOOK. This is a DRY funeral and I don't want a single one of you showing up with a flask!". And I said, "Ok, Grandma, no flask, but what if I show up with an eyeglasses case?"
Since we were about twenty, my cousin and I have been arguing over who would get the flask. We have each demanded that she leave the flask to us in her will, that one day it be ours (Well, one of us would have the flask.)
And this Christmas, my mother handed me the package from my Grandma, and it was just a simple affair wrapped up in tissue paper. And before I opened it, I felt around and in a single moment, my heart dropped and I knew.
And I saw the familiar brown plastic and I knew more.
And I opened the rest of the gift and there it was, the flask, all for me, a gift from her, something I will cherish my whole life because it has known so much. It isn't about being a wild party animal: It is more about having a history that I don't know anything about. It is about keeping things secret and then letting things out when people need to hear them the most. Maybe it's about my Grandma sharing some common ground with me, and maybe it's just a gift. Perhaps it's a joke between us and perhaps it's that she wants me to know that she and I are connected through our histories, together and apart, we have much in common, much that we can laugh over, and many stories to share.
I called my Grandma after opening the gift. I called her on her cell, because that is just how cool she is, she keeps a cell phone on her at all times. And I was kind of choked up because, you know, this was supposed to go in her will. It wasn't supposed to be given to me this early in my life. I wasn't ready to open it because I wasn't expecting that she would give it to me before her time with me was through.
And the only thing she had to say about this is that she wants me to have it long before she is gone and wants me to enjoy it and use it.
My Grandma knows about my blog in the vaguest sense possible. My Aunt mentioned it to her once and following that conversation, she asked me what a Blob was and what I did with a Blob on the Internet.
I told her that one day I would write about her.