Today would have been my Grandma Sally’s 94th birthday. She passed away in 2012. We had a unique Grandma/Granddaughter relationship. She was not only my Grandma, but also one of my best friends. I loved hearing her laugh, so I would often crack jokes. I performed stand up comedy for her in her living room for over two years before I ever stepped on a San Diego stage. She was the best audience ever! She had quite a sense of humor too and would sometimes shock me with what came out of her mouth! She was still my Grandma after all! But after the shock left my laugh would linger and every time I thought and think of what she said, it made and makes me laugh.
Grandma Sally cried tears of joy and happiness when President Obama was elected. Being born in 1920, I imagine she may have thought such a day would never happen when the United States would elect an African American president. Her favorite movie was, “Brokeback Mountain.” She said to me once, if anyone sees that movie and still has a problem with gay people, well… there’s just no hope for them!” Her favorite TV show was “The Sopranos.” She would proudly tell her friends it was, “the unedited version.” She was naturally compassionate and accepting of others. She truly liked people and sincerely appreciated differences. She had two “boyfriends,” both named Tony. I called them her “Two Tonys.” Celebrity Chef, Anthony Bourdain and the character, Tony Soprano. She liked the bad boys!
Like me, my grandma loved animals. Her absolute favorite being bears. After moving down here in 2007, each year on Christmas I would get her a new bear. I am blessed to have the teddy bear collection that we created together. I associate warm memories with it.
More than any person I have ever met, she appreciated the beauty of the moment. In a short walk from her front door to her car, she would notice how blue the sky looked, how pretty the flowers were and would stop to listen to the birds sing. Happy Birthday, sweet Grandma and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! She loved being born on St. Patrick’s Day. She would say, “everybody celebrates my birthday!” So today, whether or not you will be formally celebrating, I encourage you to stop and experience and appreciate the moment. I hope it puts a smile on your face the way it did for my Grandma Sally. I love you so, so much Grandma. Thank you for all you taught me and continue to teach me. I miss having you here with me physically, but am so glad I know that you, the soul, will always exist.
I haven’t updated my comedy website since before she passed away. I still have our true story that became one of my jokes on the front page, if you would like to read it.