Most first memories as children that are the sweetest are those that we have with our grandmothers. They are there for the happy times, the sad times, the boring times and sometimes even those heated moments. My gran was truly a woman of substance. When I think of her I immediately use the word “real”. Everything about her was real. Hypocrisy had no space in her life. If it needed to be said, you best believe it was going to be said. No sugar coating, no beating round the bush. Just the brutal truth as it was. It was funny, even in the seriousness of it all.
It was 2010, May 9th, my wedding day, my gran was there – the entertainer. The person of the party. She was the one that made everyone scream and cry with laughter. Her foul mouth was the centre piece of the show and her somewhat dark jokes were frowned upon by some but to me this is what she did, this is who she was and this is what made her the soul that she was meant to be. My wedding turned out great mostly because of her and her way in which she dealt with breaking the ice between the two families. Success was always something that followed her.
As an illiterate woman, she couldn’t read or write but she knew every recipe, by heart. Her food was great, her baking was just as good. Her pancakes were her specialty which we got on every visit.
She was appreciated by some and not by some, she wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that to her was perfectly okay. She chose to be coffee.
On a normal day, gran would start her day with some vulgar words. I didn’t know better; this was all I knew. Actually, her foul mouth was an understatement, together with the cigarette in her hand and her broken English. “Pass the wet clothes ma” , direct translation – please pass me the kitchen swab so I can clean the table. I understood her and she understood me. We were both somewhat lost in this huge world, and we found some calmness in the presence of each other. We didn’t speak too much about important things but what we did share was a grandma and granddaughter bond which not many people saw or even understood.
Although, in this world, there is nothing more adult than dealing with death.
Just 20 days after our wedding we got the call. That call. The call everyone dreads. She suffered a heart attack and was gone. The shock and horror that went though my body was numbing and all I could hear in my head was her say “What are you crying about, bringing so much bad luck”.
Today, I try not to practise her vulgar words, but I sometimes do. I speak about her so that the people who didn’t get to know her understand her personality through my eyes. On my wedding day, I remember her saying to my mother-in-law jokingly “now I can die in peace knowing my granddaughter is married into a good family that will take care of her”. Maybe it was true, you know when your end is approaching.
Today, 13 years later I still speak about her as though she is here. My sons know all about her and her weirdness. My husband practises some of her vulgarness in all languages and her recipes. I too use a few of her broken swear words and her code names for people still remain. Her pancake recipe is used for breakfast on weekends as often as we can. She is still present on earth through her skills, her qualities, her love and her pancakes. She is missed.
Grandmas grow a bond with grandchildren that can never be touched or torn. It is there no matter what, it remains even when one lives in this world and the other lives in another. It is endless and is the true definition of infinity.
“If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.”” (“The 50 Best Cooking Quotes of all Time – 8WomenDream”)
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Guest author: Faeeza