Our Girl was always great with my family. Sometimes I though that they loved her more and I was the tolerated in-law. She always went out of her way to accommodate them; even when it was clearly unreasonable. Mowing Grandma’s lawn even though it meant she had to drive the slow riding lawn mower around the block once a week in the hot sun with the dog on a leash for Grandpa. “Meals on wheels” for my Mom. And, doing all the things that needed to be done that needed a woman’s touch. All without complaining.
One reason that Grandma and Grandpa loved her was that, as sound as she realized they were both deaf as stones, she “spoke” to them at the top of her lungs. She used her “basketball court voice” that she developed coaching. When she called a play, teams in the next county were trying to run it. She’d often come home horse and I’d have a headache. But they loved her visits.
So, we’re on one of our road trips in New England. Our Girl pipes up, as were coming down 95, “Let’s swing up Route 7 and visit your Aunt Marion.” Huh? I barely knew that she knew that I had an Aunt. Guess my look said it all. “Grandma was worried so I told her we’d check on her. And, I called Aunt Marion and said we might be by.” Guess it slipped her mind to mention it to me, or maybe she didn’t want to deal with my reaction. It really wasn’t that big a deal. Turn left at Route 7 and three hours or so of more driving, and we’re at Aunt’s house.
We visit. Now Aunt Marion and Grandma were sisters that look alike, dress alike, and sound alike. Our Girl carries on a conversation with Aunt about all sorts of things. With her “coach voice”. Eventually Aunt goes to the WC. I say sotto voce “Ev, it’s Aunt Marion, not Grandma. Aunt’s hearing is perfect.” She looked like she’d kissed a frog, or a fat old white guy injineer.
Aunt comes back and Ev apologizes profusely. Aunt generously says: “That’s fine child. I knew what you were doing. When I talk to Sister, I have a sore throat after. She’s really vain about the hearing aids Micky bought her.” Ev was red. But by the end of the trip, she was laughing about it. We had to go directly to Grandma’s, despite the hour, so Ev could report in. I suggested we do it the next morning because it was so late. Our Girl vetoed that with her trademark scowl. So we went.
She was right! Grandma was sitting up alone in the middle of the night waiting for Our Girl’s report. They sat and chatted and Ev gave her all the details. We got home when the Sun was coming up.
Maybe that’s why I love her? She was a kind soul that would go out of her way to reassure a pair of Sisters to whom she had no real obligation to. And, she even tolerated me going along. Not that I had a choice. It was always her way. And, that way usually turned out to be right in so many ways.
She made the world a better place and me a better person. And, I miss her more each day.
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