I've been thinking about my Grandma Lou lately. She died a few years ago and I really miss her. I was up in Michigan at our summer cottage and found an old book she had given me. She had written inside the cover that she had loved it as a child, and that my great-grandma had helped her find a copy for me. The book is entitled "Lady Jane," and it is a weird book, but my Grandma was from Louisiana and had a bit of French weirdness to her. Not in a bad way, just very unfamiliar to me. I really don't get the French. They eat disgusting things and like strange entertainment. My husband knows what I'm talking about. Our code word for it is "harlequin." But I digress.
The fact that she mentioned my great-grandma, Grandmother Raymond, made it even worse. The tears began to flow. How I wish I could have known them both so much better! They were two remarkable women. What is really stupid is that the main thing that kept me from a closer relationship with Lou is that I am ridiculously shy. Even with my own Grandma! Grandmother Raymond & I actually corresponded by letters (she was still in Louisiana) until I became such a self-absorbed jerk somewhere in my teens that I just stopped.
I remember once Grandmother Raymond sent me a recipe for cheese puffs. She warned me that the amount of cayenne was too much and to cut it way down. Of course being the macho fourteen-or-so that I was I thought to myself, "Yeah, well, she's in her 80's, so she probably can't handle it." I put in the full measure of cayenne. MAN! Were those things HOT!
But that was Lou's mother. Lou was my Dad's mother. Lou was my role model, but I seriously did not realize it until after she died. You can try to imagine all you want how you're going to feel after someone dies, but you never really know until they do.