Tuesday, October 27, 2009


My paternal grandmother just recently turned 99 years old.

That's almost a century!

She has a few health issues, but that's to be expected after 99 years of wear and tear on her body and organs. However, she lives with my aunt (her daughter) who takes excellent care of her. They have some outside help for a few hours each day, but Grandma prefers Aunt M to take care of her.

Her mind is still pretty darn good. Sure she has a few episodes of slight confusion, but for the most part, is right on top of things. She is still strong willed and determined and will let you know without a doubt if she disagrees with your thoughts or opinions.

She enjoys watching and listening to political programs on TV and is completely dedicated to following the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Her absolute favorite player is....LeBron James. She knows everything there is to know about him, and then some!

Grandma was the third of seven children, having been born in a small town along the Ohio River.

As a child Grandma and her friends would swim across the Ohio River. One of her brothers would row across with them in his canoe, so if they were tired, they could get a ride back. Her mother would stand at the edge of the river yelling at her for swimming across, telling her how dangerous it was…and the next day she would be back again, doing the same thing! (And I used to wonder where Joe and Alex got that trait...)

She and my Granddad fell in love and married pretty young, when they were only 17. My dad was born when she was 19, then my aunt when she was 20.

Of my Grandma's six siblings, five eventually married. Uncle Raymond had a girlfriend named Mabel, but they never got married.

Out of the five that got married, NONE of them had children.

Once, many years ago, I asked her why none of the others had children. Without skipping a beat she said that they all saw how bad her two were (my dad and my aunt) and decided they wanted nothing to do with it!

Grandma never got a drivers license. She tried to drive one time, got in an accident, then said she'd never get behind the wheel again. Apparently, she meant it!

When my Granddad was only 44, he was killed in an industrial accident. This happened before my parents were even married. I never had the chance to meet him. I'm sorry I never got to know him.

After that, Grandma lived with my Aunt M, and helped her out in her beauty shop for decades. Grandma was the official greeter and coffee lady. When I was young and would stay with them for a few weeks each summer, I would "help out" too, hahaha.

When we visited her for her birthday I asked her about all the changes she's seen over the years. She immediately stated that not all of them were for the better! (That's the opinionated side of her showing through again!)

She's the only one of the seven children in her family still living...I told her it was because she has always been taken care of AND because she was the only one who had children.

We know that having children can sometimes bring you gray hair a little sooner than you thought necessary, or add to the wrinkles on your face, but there's also a chance that having children can prolong your life.

Happy 99th Birthday Grandma!


PERBS said...

What a nice tribute to her! I hope her birthday is terrific being surrounded by the people she loves! You wrote something that I hope you shared with her today! It will mean a lot to her. She has left an impressionable legacy.

Jac said...

Happy (late) Birthday to your Grandmother!

This was a wonderful post, a great tribute!! I love that she has a favorite basketball player! I can only hope to be that sharp if I make it to 99!

docgrumbles said...

I wonder if her cavalier attitude also has contributed to her longevity ;)

Anonymous said...

What a tribute for a grand lady. Life is good and enjoying each day certainly worked for this great woman. Having and formulating opinions kept her alive, well for so many years, and thinking of things in general! What a wonderful 99 years!