(It’s Turkey day in the states, so please excuse the personal nature of the post)
Growing up I only knew my maternal grandparents, Garnet and LaVernie. As a child I loved my goofy Grandpa and despised my critical Grandma. Later on, as they both aged, my grandfather became a little less silly and my grandmother a little more nutty… both in a good way.
I was only 5 years old the year that we lived in their house, after my parents divorced. Being the seriously Devastatingly-Dramatic-“OMG” child… there was very little that could make me laugh. My days were spent on a very strict schedule–no time for kid shit. The morning news before being dropped off at my babysitters; once there I would head downstairs to the 2nd T.V. to watch more serious news, followed by soap operas.
The world was tough and I was convinced that I needed to do all I could to prepare for it.
My Grandpa was the person who would pick us up from the sitter’s after he got off work, taking us home to fresh snacks from my oh-so-serious Grandmother (runs in the family). I usually had chicken noodle soup, but my Grandfather loved his crackers and milk—- mixed together. Usually he would take out his teeth first, hand them to me and see who would giggle first. Without fail I could never contain my sky-is-falling smirk.
Afterward, I would watch Brady Bunch before the evening news.
My Grandpa died 8 years ago, and my Grandmother hung on for 6 more. I took care of her the last year of her life, and it was then I met a woman who lived life the best way she knew how. When she passed away the year before last, we decided to sell her house and I had part of the responsibility of cleaning it out. Rummaging through an old box I found a set of dentures, the old set of my Grandfathers from when I was a child. I tucked them away as a keepsake (gross says you).
This time of the year always feels strange, not going to the same house where we always celebrated the holidays. We gathered at my Aunt’s house this year, ate turkey with Grandma’s dressing. Actually had wine, too–which was never allowed while she was alive.
When I got home tonight, I walked in to find a torn up old bag and a half-chewed pair of dentures. Scattered across the floor were Grandpa’s porcelain teeth. So far, I’ve only found three or four. Have no idea how my golden lab Kiwi got a hold of them, but I can’t stop giggling.