Happy Birthday, Blue Eyes

One of the most bad-ass women that ever lived turns 96 today. Yep, that’s right. My grandma. My mom’s mom. Agnes.

I’ve written about her many times before and how she is a prime example of an undying faith and devotion and survival. This woman would pray and stuff would happen. I swear she had a white phone in her office. As noted before, whenever I feel like my life is challenging I think of her siblings dying of TB, surviving the World Wars, The Depression, miscarriages and numerous other challenges and my whinings pale by comparison. Yes, she was a hard-ass – I mean tough. She had an expert command of guilt but at the same time would melt you with a gleeful and unabashed cackle of laughter that would brighten your day (and a well-placed candy jar and cookies… I mean the cookies…). And as you pulled out of the driveway – there was always one last thing to tell you. She’d run back outside and grab on to the passenger side door and keep talking.

She was just a poor little country girl from New Albany that hooked up with a jeweler from Louisville and had a huge family (4 kids, 17 grandkids and I think 30+ grandkids) and a huge reputation for massive parties packed with relatives and friends. She’s not nearly as active anymore – she’s mostly in bed during the day at an absolute palace of a long-term care facility. She rarely talks now but those blue eyes tell you that she knows who you are when you come into the room.

Mom and dad live in that house now – I am glad it’s stayed in the family one way or another (it’s so Lillian Helman isn’t it? My mom living in the house she grew up in).

My mom always reminds my sister and I

Remember what your grandmother would always say… ‘Now everything’s going to be alright…’

An unshakeable faith that things would turn out for the best if you just hold on to the next day.

I don’t know if she’ll get to have her coconut topped cake today but I’m sure somewhere in there she’s secretly craving that and a good Lawrence Welk tune.






3 responses to “Happy Birthday, Blue Eyes”

  1. Jef Avatar

    I’m turning on my personal bubble machine in honor of your grandmother. Tell her to cackle away.

    What a wonderful tribute! It’s amazing how many of the people we admire are not just survivors of circumstance but transformers of situations.

  2. Andy Avatar

    A personal bubble machine? As opposed to the ‘industrial strength’ version… I love it!

  3. sis Avatar

    I tripped over a cat this morning and thought of how pumpkin would sit at her feet when she came over to visit. Then he’d proceed to lick himself. She’d say, “What is that cat doing?” Still makes me laugh

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