Thursday, December 24, 2009

No crying on CHRISTMAS!

My grandmother is ninety three years old. She reminds us of this fact over and over again. Many of you have already read stories about her. Of my love for her, my respect, my frustration. All ordinary, really. Ordinary family mechanics.

Christmas is hard for the old who used to own it. We young people come in and make all kinds of demands about time and food and presents. We moan about being too busy and about our kids and about travel.

They forget the stress and remember it golden. They want it simpler. My gram is no exception.

Every year I've asked her to do a little less. Fewer cookies, fewer presents, come later.. leave earlier... la la la.

It's gotten to the point where she is only responsible for one thing on Christmas. The Ice Box Cake. For those of you who don't know what that is... wait. I'll put up a recipe and picture next week. All you need to know is PUDDING, YUMMMMMMMMM.

She's called five times today crying.

Call 1: "Was I supposed to bring something?"
Call 2: "I don't have the right pan!"
Call 3: "Is Rosy still allergic to bananas?"
Call 4. "I bought the wrong pudding!"
Call 5: "What is instant pudding anyway?"

I don't need the ice box cake. I have a million cookies. I just don't want her to cry. And she'll cry if I say don't make it. And she'll cry if I say make it. And she'll cry if...

She'll cry. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the wrong pudding. It's a world gone mad. It's a memory of loss. It's not her time.

But egads woman? Don't you remember your own rule? NO CRYING ON CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow I'll get her a little tipsy on champagne and make her laugh.

Merry Christmas.



  1. Oh, your poor Grandmother. My husband's grandmother was 99 when I met him. He would say, "How are you, Grandma?" and she'd reply, "I suffer till i die." Old age can be so sad. :(

  2. The holidays seem to make everyone anxious and stressed. That's when all the crying and feelings come out....and the laughter too!

    Happy Holidays! I'm sure you'll cheer her up.

  3. :( I'm sorry she is crying. It sounds like she is no longer able to remember how to do simple things like a cake she'd always made. None of us want to go there, but it seems to be that or die young--and then think of all you miss.
    Here's to tipsy and laughter and love.
    I'm making icebox cake for my party, but I make it with Nabisco Famous Chocolate wafers and whipped cream. Fit for devils and angels.

  4. My heart breaks for her. What a wonderful woman you are, Suzanne. I feel your love for her through every word. I hope she doesn't cry and if she does, hug her tight and tell her "love you the mostest like a giant twinkie hostess." It's what I do when my loved ones are sad. It always makes them laugh.

  5. This is the second time this week that a memory of icebox cake gave me a lump. Enjoy Christmas Suzy, and keep your grandma smiling.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Bittersweet tribute. I bet she was really something back in the day. Merry Christmas.

  7. I know you'll make this Christmas another golden one for her - especially with champagne!
    Merry Christmas!

  8. Merry Christmas to you and the extended family masses that are descending on your house, Suzy! Give Gram an extra dribble of champagne for me, eh?

  9. Lucky grandmother, I say, to have someone who cares for her and respects her so much, even in her diminished state.
    And lucky too, that she can have some champagne and a laugh.
    It's not a pretty picture, the forgetting, crying, and as you so eloquently put it "it's not her time". It will come to us all, but as the saying goes "old age doesn't look so bad when you consider the alternative" .

    Happy Christmas, Suzanne. Have a lovely time with your family.

  10. amazing.
    as usual.
    my comment? not so much.
    but, we do what we can :)

    happy holidays to you and yours.

  11. Aw, your gran sounds so sweet. It's sad to read about her struggles -- and I can relate. My 86 year old grandmother has not been the same since her hernia surgery this past August.

    However, she hasn't cried. My mom and I have been doing the bulk of the weeping.

    I think it is so special to still have our grandma's around. This time of year, especially!

  12. HA! Oh I loved that. I love your crying on Christmas Gram (in a nice way :)

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful girls :)

    I look forward to reading more of your amazing writing in the new year AND I have my fingers crossed for you BIG time!

    All the best! Enjoy the holidays and hug that man of yours... oh, and your Gram :)

  13. Aww, she sounds like a darling.

    I really wish I was a granddad already to someone or at least every once pretends so. That bit about come late and leave early caught my eye :)

  14. Glad you had a Merry Christmas,, it seems.

  15. My mother-in-law turned 89 on XMAS Eve. She's always had a fiery spirit, but it seems to have become embers. She has slowed down so much. Hope you and your Gram had a lovely Christmas together, Suzanne, despite tears and forgetfulness.

  16. Hope you guys had a lovely Christmas filled with champagne without tears. XOXO

  17. Your Grandma sounds like a peach. I have had this cake...and it is worth crying over. :)