Thursday, February 25, 2010


Helena is Gemma's first middle name.

Helena was my Grandma's name. Her first name.

My grandma was born February 25th 1932. Or 1933. Or 1931. They weren't quite sure, and neither am I.

She passed away February 26th 2005. That, I am sure of.

I was a college freshman, away at school at the time. I had no idea that she was in that kind of shape. If I had known...I was coming home for the weekend to celebrate her birthday but instead...

Growing up my grandma's house was a home away from home. I spent nearly every weekend with her, shopping for dresses, playing with Barbies, baking cakes.

Saturday nights, I would sit in front her recliner (the one that matched Granddaddy's), while she rolled my hair in thick foam rollers, for church in the morning, while we watched Cops and America's Most Wanted. She wasn't very gentle and water always dripped in my eyes. At 10 o'clock we would always go to bed and I would always sleep with her.

I can't find the words to express how much Grandma meant to me. She was unlike anybody else in a way that is real. It makes me angry that the term "unlike anybody else," is thrown around so loosely because saying it about her doesn't mean as much as I would like it to.

She was blunt. She was funny. She was thrifty. She was beautiful. She was religious. She was sassy. She was genuine. She was loving. She was creative. She was friendly. She was brave. She was strong.

She taught me how to make a bed and felt under my shirt to see if I was getting boobs yet. She took me to church and sometimes we would go to Pizza Hut afterwards. Or if I was really lucky, the pool.

I can only imagine what she would teach Gemma. I can only imagine.

I love her. I miss her,

I have forgotten her just a bit.

Hi Grandma.

I'm thinking of you.


  1. What a sweet tribute to your grandma!

  2. PS - I do some family history research. You can find out more about your grandma here, using just the information you posted above. Go to a search engine. Type in "Social Security Death Index" and follow the link to it. This is the link, if it will post:

    Click on Advanced Search. Fill in your grandma's information and click Submit. Your grandma's information will come up.

    Then, you might want to delete this comment. :-)

  3. What a blessing to have a grandmother like Helena. I have an interesting family history and have never had quite that kind of relationship with my grandmother who is still living or with the one who passed away when I was in high school.

    My middle name is after my father's grandmother, and although I never got a chance to really know her (she passed when I was 11), I have always felt a sense of pride representing her through my name.

    I know Gemma will feel the same way about Grandma Helena!