Monday, July 18, 2011
Not Your Typical Grandmother
July 16, 2011, marked the seventh anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, Lucille Kosharek. In some ways I can't believe that so many years have gone by. She died when my seven-year-old daughter, Emma, was only about five weeks old. In other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago that she was actually with us.
My Grandma was born in 1918 and was one of the toughest ladies I've ever known. She played in a women's baseball league like the ones depicted in the movie "A League of Their Own." She had four children and eight grandchildren and she loved them all fiercely.
She lived with my family from the time I was about seven years old and she was like a parent to me. On one hand, that meant she didn't spoil my brother and I like most grandparents have a way of doing. Although come to think of it she really didn't spoil the grandchildren that didn't live with her, either. But on the other hand, living together made us very close.
You never really wondered what Grandma thought about something or how she felt about it. She didn't leave much to the imagination - she told you what was on her mind. Some people were afraid of her or didn't like her. But she didn't tolerate nonsense - she saw right through it. And she didn't miss a thing. She was a hard-working woman and the kind of person who would stay with a neighbor who was recovering from surgery. But she also had a teasing side, a sense of humor, and loved to laugh.
Although she had a very abrasive manner, her motivation was love. And she could surprise you. I remember being about ten years old or so when she would walk us to the bus stop for school. There was one day when I was finally going back to school after missing a few days from being sick. I was feeling better, but dreading going back to school. I just felt like I couldn't face it yet, with all its social challenges. However, I knew Grandma wouldn't understand that. So I dutifully got on the bus, but then I couldn't do it. I couldn't sit down. I turned around, walked off the bus, and ran to Grandma, fully expecting to be yelled at and told to get right back on that bus. Instead she held me and let me cry for the entire walk back home. I guess she recognized that it wasn't nonsense.
For better or worse, she had a part in shaping me and influencing my life. As with any relationship, it wasn't perfect. And it certainly wasn't the typical grandparent-grandchild relationship. But I knew she always had my best interests at heart, whether or not her methods were the best. Unconditionally, I loved her and I miss her. And if she could have read this post, she probably would have complained that I wrote something about her, but laughed heartily with a bit of embarrassment flushing her cheeks. She was definitely one of a kind.