2 Mar 2009

FUN MONDAY - My Grandma


Jo at Chocolate and other Things we should tell her something fun about our mother and/or her mother. "What fun, weird, laughable memories do you have of your Mom or your Grandma?"

I have no laughable memories of my mother, not even weird once. She didn't have any influence on my life, but my grandma, her mother did. She was the most important person in my life when I was a child. She took care of me after my birth until I was 6 or 7 when I started to live with my parents. My mother was afraid of babies. (apparently this exists)

My grandma was born in 1895 and was 95 when she died. For her time she was a very modern women. Grown up with 11 siblings she swore to herself not to have more than one child, but after a first daughter she had another one, my mother. My grandma married late for this time she was already 24 which was very old for being a bride. She worked as a cook in a castle and was responsible for the whole kitchen and it's personel. She had to prepare dinners of 80 to 100 people sometimes. Then finally she married my grandpa who worked for the German railways and gave up her job.

She was quite an impressive woman. Tall, 1.75 (5.7) she of course had difficulties to find the right man. But my grandpa didn't care that she was a little taller as himself. My grandma ruled the household and settled all fights between her siblings or the neighbors. After my grandpa died she started to travel what she had always wanted. She was 74 when she took the plane for the first time and went to the States to visit her daughter in Madison/Wisc. There without any shy she talked to everybody in German and curiously everybody understood her. My grandma had no complexes whatsoever and wasn't afraid of anybody either.

When she was 86 she decided to live in a retirement residence and left her appartment. Without telling anything to the family she sold all her furniture, put all decorative things, plates, vases etc on the street for the garbadge collection. My cousin just could safe a few family things.

My grandma had decided to start a completely new life and for that she needed new things and new furniture. She bought everything new she needed for her flat a new TV included and moved in. It didn't take very long and she ruled the whole retirement home. She settled fights when a resident stole the false teeth from another and hid them, when they were fighting about a piece of cake etc. She also did all the accounting things for those who weren't able or didn't want to until she was 94 ! Most of the residents were much younger.

Each time we visited her coming back from Italy she had a Schnaps (strong white alcohol) and bottles of Baby Champ in her fridge, so that we would get fit again after such a long travel.
When we walked together we could hardly follow her she was so quick.

She died in front of her TV while watching her favourite soap opera where the nurse found her the next morning.

To me my grandma has always been my example and I wish I just could be like her until I have to leave this world.

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my grandma at 20

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and I at 20. We look quite similar.

22 comments:

Jan said...

What a great tribute to your Grandmother. Yes, you sure do look alike, remarkable.

Mar said...

What an extraordinary woman! you two look very much alike, and I think it's not only the looks but temperament and character are also alike!

Hootin' Anni said...

Yes, yes....you two DO have the same features! And, I bet you're quite a lot like her in so many way.

Love the story Gattina. So heartfelt and I can tell from reading this that you trusted her with your life. Wonderful

claudie said...

I just realised it was the same for me with my grandmother. She was always an axemple for me too! One day I'll write something about her too! Your GM and you were so beautiful on the pictures you put! As Mar I think you've got the same temperament as your grandmother! That's why I really love to visit your blog because each time I read you I do the full of energy and it's very positiv!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Yes, you do look alike. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother, a truly extraordinary person for her time by the sound of it.

I have very fond memories of my grandmother whom I lived with from time to time when I was young.

Maribeth said...

What a lovely memory. I also was close to my grandmother, and people say I resemble her too.
Your story this morning makes me think of my own grandmother, with love and lightness in my heart. I sure do miss her.

♥~♥ Tracey ♥~♥ said...

WOW! You do look like your grandmother! I love that photo. I have never heard of someone being afraid of a baby, but I can imagine it for sure! Babies ARE scary!

Lil Mouse said...

so cool

maryt/theteach said...

How lucky you are, Gattina, to have had this wonderful woman in your life! Yes you and she do look alike! :)

Dr.John said...

I would have done this today but I lost track of who was in charge of fun Monday.
Your grandmother was an extraordinary woman. I wish I could have known her. It is interesting my son livres in Madison, Wisconsin and there don't seem to be many German speaking people any longer.

Cher said...

Wow, you and your grandma really do look alike. You are both lovely. :-)

Janis said...

Your Grandmother sounds like a very interesting person. A strong independent woman for her time, she is a great role model. You do look just like her on the photos.

Melli said...

Lucky for you your grandma didn't suffer from your the same phobia your mother did! When I saw your Grandma's picture -BEFORE I saw yours, I thought how much the two of you look alike! Now I wonder if your mother also resembled her, or did the genetics pass right over her and on to you?

Your Grandma sounds like she was just a wonderful woman! She was a great role model for you.

Jientje said...

What an extraordinary woman your grandmother was Gattina. I can feel how much she meant to you!

Pamela said...

I see the resemblance.
I can also imagine you hiding someones teeth. giggle.

I'm sad that she sold her things. I suppose she was just being independent and didn't think anyone would cherish what she no longer valued. sigh.

Sayre said...

Your grandmother sounds a lot like my paternal grandmother. She is not attached to things at all, to the point of returning books or photographs we've sent her. She keeps her life uncluttered. She also has a very strong personality - she doesn't have very many friends, but the ones she has are fierce in their love for her.

You look a lot like your granny!

ChrisB said...

Your grandmother was an amazing lady. I do see the likeness between you.

hulagirlatheart said...

Oh, this was simply grand. LOVE your granny's photo...and yours.

storyteller said...

What a lovely woman your grandmother was and how marvelous to have her in your life. Thanks for sharing your memories this week.
Hugs and blessings,

EastCoastLife said...

So nice to read about your grandmother.

I had an interesting grandmother too.

Vlado&Toni said...

this is such a touching story and a wonderful tribute to your grandma--she was a wonderful woman and i can see where you got all your spirit, humor and wit.
what a cool chick. she was truly beyond her time.

Lifecruiser said...

Yep, you're very much alike! And I suspect, not only to the outside, the manners too.

It's so wonderful to hear that such persons exists. Hope for humanity :-)