Royally jipped

The other day I was walking through the grocery store, doing my bi-weekly shopping, and I suddenly became very sentimental. Yes, standing by the rows of Campbell soup and soy sauce, my little heart went a pitter-patter. The reason? This sweet little old lady who smelled like lavendar and was slowly pushing her cart and smiling at everyone she met. She walked by me and with her opaque eyes shielded by her oversized oval glasses, she smiled and patted my arm as she passed by.

No words, no real conversation – just a quick pat on my arm and she was on her way to frozen peas and corn. Yet that small, insignificant momentary contact sent me whirling into contemplation over one big gripe I have about my life: I have been royally jipped. Yes, that’s right – JIPPED.

As I stared after the woman, a sudden pang hit my heart because without warning I had this sudden thought and desire: I want a grandma! This is where I’ve been jipped, folks. Both of my grandmas died before I ever knew them. One died before I was born and the other when I was just 2. It’s so not fair, and yet as my Dad always says, “Life isn’t fair.” Now before you get all sodden with pity for me, I did get to know one of my great-grandma’s very well, Grandma Dickson, but I still feel the gaping hole of no grandmas.

My Grandma Dickson was fabulous, however. She used to live in Pocatello in a small trailer home park until the last few years of her life. Whenever my family used to head up to our cabin in Island Park, we would stop and visit with Grandma and Grandpa Dickson. I thought her home was so cute and darling – a miniature world that was enchanting and magical with glass cat knick knacks and always a loaf of homemade bread or her famous applesauce cookies to eat (Note to self: I need to find her recipe and learn how to make her bread and her cookies – one way to keep her legacy alive for my family, too).

grandma-taylor_edited.jpgGrandma Dickson was the mother of my mom’s mother, Louise Dickson Taylor. She passed away from breast cancer before I was born and is the very reason why I run every year in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Salt Lake City. I created a team in her honor, Louise’s Legacy, and each year I try to recruit more family members to participate. Everything I know about her I learned from others, whether through my own family or neighbors. She was unfailingly kind, charitable, genuine, a wonderful cook, patient, an attentive mother, focused on others, and a stunning beauty. How can you not agree that it is unfair I didn’t get to know her?

My other grandma, Naomi Smith Brewster, passed away from heart related problems when I was only 2. I have one brief memory of her and to be honest, I’m not sure if I just made it up and it has stuck. But in any case, I will keep it – it’s of her reaching down from her couch to pick me up. For some reason, I can remember how she smelled, like sweet pressed powder and I remember the tinkling of her earrings. My Grandma Brewster was very elegant and refined, also a great cook (her chocolate roll recipe is HEAVENLY- amazing!!), very organized and liked to keep a clean house. Above all, she had style and this was because my Grandpa Brewster loved to lavish her with the most extraordinary outfits. I wish my feet had been the same size as hers because her shoes are to die for. But the thing that sticks out in my mind about her is how much my Grandpa Brewster loved and adored her. He created a special monogram just for the two of them and would write beautiful little love notes to her signed with it.

Two amazing women and I didn’t get to know them, at least not yet. But I feel like I understand a part of them, the essence of who they were here on earth. And I feel extremely lucky to be connected to them in that way. But I’m still jipped.

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