11.22.2015

Grandma O'Malley


When someone is born on Christmas Day, there is something extra special about them. At least I think so. To share that blessed day must be reserved for a special few.




Grandma O'Malley was born on Christmas Day back in 1898. She had beautiful soft, pure white hair worn neatly tucked in a bun. She only wore dresses. Every day. And she made amazing cakes filled with layers of creamy chocolate or smeared with gobs of orange pulpy frosting.




She was always kind and sometimes quiet...sometimes chatty. She would always dry the dishes after Sunday dinner at Mom and Dad's house. She would stay into the evening and watch Lawrence Welk with us. She tolerated my dancing on the wood between the parlors, something I'm not so sure my four siblings wholeheartedly appreciated :)



She lived on the third floor of a black tenement. Her home smelled of Sunday roasts and had a huge farmhouse sink that I coveted even as a little girl. Only now do I realize how out of place that sink was, way up high in this triple decker home overlooking a schoolyard in the city.


She had cellophane wrapped sour balls in a glass candy dish on her kitchen table…right near the radio.




I'd sit on the prickly textured armchair and look out at the schoolyard . A drone's eye view of the world down below was silhouetted by her palest of pink Christmas cactus. 


Years later, long after her passing, Dad brought me a piece of her cactus. It's blooming now. Rubbery leaves give way to delicate blossoms filled with hot pink stamens and childhood memories.


Did I mention that Grandma O'Malley also passed on Christmas Day,  eighty some odd years after her birth on that blessed day?  Her legacy is on my windowsill, framing the life that surrounds it….children laughing….frosted cakes….and endless chatter.




15 comments:

  1. A beautifully written tribute to someone who sounds like a lovely lady.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Donna.I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

      Delete
  3. Monica.. your story really resonated with me deeply. Your description of your grandma was filled with love and special memories. I have a little Christmas cactus exactly like that - that I rescued in my dying mother's room. It was dried up miserably but I brought it home.. watered it and put it in my kitchen garden window and before you knew it it flowered.. after my mom passed.. and I took it as a message from beyond from my mother. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Teresa. I love it when people connect with something I have written, or a memory I have shared. Always makes the effort seem validated somehow.

      Delete
  4. Monica, I'm trying to get in touch with you, but your emails are being returned as undeliverable, I've also been getting a 404 for your blog. Maybe something not be set right?

    Jen @ RURAL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen! Gee I'm not sure what's going on! My email is maggie_3@comcast.net. and I wonder what's going on with my blog! Could it be an error from the form I respond on? I look forward to connecting!

      Delete
  5. What a great way to keep your memory of her alove!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom,I appreciate your kind words!

      Delete
  6. Such a lovely post, it stirred memories of my own Grandmother! Thank you Monica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Debbie. I am glad we connected over our Grandmas!

      Delete
  7. What a wonderful post. Love that you have such warm memories and now a precious cactus to remind you of her even more.
    Truly precious!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for chatting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...