My grandma is in the hospital. I just talked to my Grandpa he and told me that Audrey Litchfield will hopefully be released today.
I’ve never seen my Grandma angry. I know that when my Dad was a kid, their house was THE house. It was the neighborhood house where all the kids hung around and felt at home.
When all her kids grew my Grandma worked at Macy’s to help save for retirement.
Before I go into New England, and say a thing or two about the water, I just want to apologize for my pedestrian sea-faring vocabulary. When I went back east the summer before sixth grade, my Grandparents drove me from their house in Rhode Island to Boston. We walked the freedom trail, which led to the USS Constitution. We stood at the dock in silence for a second until I said “Yup… that’s a nice boat.” My Grandpa began laughing immediately. The Constitution is not a boat, folks. It’s a ship.
That summer, I stayed at my grandparent’s house in Barrington, RI for two weeks. My cousin Allison, also ten at the time, came along. It was one of my favorite childhood vacations. Honestly, it was the childhood vacation. It was the vacation I fell in love with New England and told myself I was going to move there someday. My Grandparents were in their early sixties. Lately, I’ve grown to appreciate how lucky I was to grow up with such young parents, and relatively young Grandparents (all of mine are still alive. I’m 29.) On this vacation, my Grandpa Litchfield took me out on a rubber boat with a little outboard motor. We carried it to the shore of the Narragansett bay and spent the day on the water. We brought a cooler with soda and sandwiches that my Grandma made. I’m sure that on that day he told me that the two greatest days in the life of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. (In addition to the rubber thing, he owned a real boat) He probably told me that hard work pays off. He probably told me to keep a positive mental attitude. He probably told me as the clouds quickly drifted overhead that if I did’t like the weather in New England, I should just stick around a bit longer.
I love my Grandparents. I love my Grandma Audrey. I call the Grandparents on my mother’s side “Mom” and “Pop.” I call Mom and Pop’s daughters by their first names- Mari, Megan, and Shanna. Growing up, I saw them more frequently than the opposite-coast aunts and uncles from my Dad’s side. During my New England visit, My Grandma was quick to inform me that my father’s siblings were my uncle Bobby, and my auntie Robin. My uncle Chris and my auntie Sarah.
On that vacation to Rhode Island, Allison and I were alone in the house for a brief time while Grandma and Grandpa were out. As we watched Grandma’s car pull up the driveway we decided it would be funny to scare her. Allison and I positioned ourselves behind furniture and shout-whispered commands to each other. Then one of us gravely suggested that maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Grandma was in fact our Grandma, and that meant she was old. What if we gave her a heart attack? We abruptly abandoned the plans.
As Grandma walked in, we heard her laughing at us. Heart attack. She’d heard us suggest that we might spark a cardiac arrest by startling her. The idea that her little grandchildren could give her a heart attack was absurd. She hadn’t been in the hospital in nearly thirty years- when her last child was born, and she wasn’t going to go back for almost another 20.
Merry Christmas, and get well Grandma. Now here’s a band new Christmas song from my pal Jason Reyes.