Some call her "mom", most call her "grandma", but to us she is "bambaw". The boys and I had the honor of celebrating my great grandmothers - their great GREAT grandmothers - 90th birthday with family and friends this weekend.
She is one incredible lady and you can tell just by the smiling faces at her party. She has a glow to her and her smile is quite contagious. I don't visit her nearly as often as I should and it pains me to know that one day she won't be around. She is such a caring soul and is as slick as a fox. She loves sharing stories and I love listening to them. I remember when she found out I was pregnant with Brady, even though it wasn't the best situation for myself at the time and others just focused on the negative, she said "you have to be happy about a new baby!". Thats just the kind-hearted woman she is. She loves owls and she loves puzzles and those two things will always remind me of her. She has the most gorgeous silver hair and it is always perfectly styled. I will never forget the wonderful Christmas's or Easters at her old house. I just wish my chidren would have gotten to experience them like I did.
She was born in the year 1918. The last year of World War I. The average cost of a home was less than $5000 and a new car cost less than $500. A stamp was $0.03 and a gallon of milk was just $0.55. She was born during the Influenza Epidemic which claimed more lives than World War I. She has seen more in her lifetime than I could ask to see in two lifetimes. I suppose being quite young makes it all so surreal to me. Could you imagine being alive during Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech? Women's Liberation? World War II, Vietnam? The Kennedy assasination? The first man walking on the moon? Being past the peak of life during racial segregation and still living to see the first black president of the United States? I know I am missing so much more but I think you get the point. How-freaking-amazing.
The average lifespan when she was born was less than 50 years, now it is about 80 years, so to be able to celebrate a 90th birthday is truly a miraculous event.
One thing that tugs my heartstrings is that my Nanny wasn't able to celebrate this wonderful milestone with us. I know she was dearly missed at the party and it just wasn't the same without her. Her spirit will never go away. I could actually picture her sitting at Bambaws table sipping her Coke and laughing while mingling with all the guests bragging about her great grandsons. I bet you I could even tell you what blouse she would have worn. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her. The only thing that takes that pain away is to give my boys a big bear hug and think of how much she would have spoiled and loved them. ~ I miss you Nan.