Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma Frank!

Today is Grandma Frank's birthday. She's 81. I remember her age because last year we had a big blow-out surprise bash for her 80th that was awesome. Grandma Frank isn't really named Frank, by the way. She's named Mary, which is a lovely name, but she got the name Grandma Frank because she is the wife of Grandpa Frank and someone way back in the day started calling them "Grandma and Grandpa Frank." When Grandpa Frank passed away, well, then it just got shortened. Grandma Frank is really M's grandma, but since I married into the family I figure I can now claim her as my own. Which I do. Proudly.

Grandma Frank is way cool. I've met some mean grandmas in my day (yes, they do exist, and for those of you who don't believe me...just consider yourselves lucky to have only good grandmas), but between Grandma Frank and my own sweet Granny, I've got a pretty good idea of what kind of grandma I want to be when I grow up.

Grandma Frank raised a boatload of kids, and raised them well and with love, and kept her sense of humor through it all. There are gobs of stories that have been shared, including one about a vacation where she incessantly lectured all the kids to not lose their tickets, only to discover that she had indeed lost her own. I do believe her children (and grandchildren) will never let her forget that. M's favorite story, the one that makes his eyes shine with merriment, is about Grandma Frank drinking some coffee and getting all giggly. Apparently she had sweetened the coffee with some Bailey's and it had quite an effect on her.

Grandma Frank loves chocolate. Actually, "loves" is too weak a description. She adores chocolate. The family has obviously learned this throughout the years as every occasion she is showered with chocolate goodies in all forms. I noticed a few years back that she is crafty when it comes to her chocolate stash. If it's what she considers Good Chocolate, she expresses her gratitude and then quietly slips the box next to her chair. If it's Regular Chocolate, she expresses her gratitude and then immediately unwraps the box and shares. Don't get me wrong...she'll share the Good Chocolate, but she's gonna make you ask for it.

Grandma Frank loves goodies. As is evidenced by her Goodie Drawer. I mentioned the Goodie Drawer in a previous post, I think. (By the way, whenever anyone opens the Goodie Drawer, or even just refers to the Goodie Drawer, the heavens open up, sunlight streams down, and you can hear angels's that powerful.) Grandma Frank's Goodie Drawer is amazing. It's always stocked. And most everything in there has already been opened so you feel totally at home grabbing a stack of Pringles or a handful of nuts or candy. There are places of Grandma Frank's house that I've never seen, but I know that Goodie Drawer inside and out. Although I did just recently learn this past year that her freezer is mainly a Goodie annex to the Goodie Drawer, if you will.

Grandma Frank loves her friends. She has had many friends over the past 81 years, and some of them for almost all of the 81 years. Which is amazing to me. My oldest friend is Steffi, who I've known since 7th grade (hold one...lemme do the math...holy crap that's 20 years now), but Grandma Frank has some of hers from grade school. And they still get together and do things like go to movies and meet for breakfast. Except for poor Evelyn, who died. (that's another family told in person)

Grandma Frank loves her family. My FIL, her eldest son, told me she's the worrier of the family. None of us really needs to worry about anything, as she does enough worrying for all of us, plus some. Grandma Frank's home is always open to any of us, at any time. M, Zozo and I stayed there over the summer when we lost power. Every holiday season and sometimes during the Fourth of July she has many other guests. Her home is always open to us, and it's always, always, overflowing with love. Just like Grandma Frank. If you wonder if it's possible to actually see love shining in someone's eyes, just look at Grandma Frank when she looks at one of us.

One of my favorite things is to hear Grandma Frank laugh. There is always a lot of laughter in the Z family, and through it all you can hear her bubbly giggle, and through that laugh you know that she's one of the most very special people in all the world.

Grandma Frank loves. And we love her. Happy Birthday Grandma!


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