Posted by: Amanda | October 10, 2006

More on Grandma Brewer

She was Grandma BB to Emily, but to me she was Grandma Brewer, or just Grandma.  My mom and I lived with her from the time I was an infant until I was nine years old.  She was a daily part of my life and growing up.  Even when we moved out of her home, we were only a few blocks away.  I would walk from Keynote street to her house, the center of the family, on Woodruff.  In the summers I spent days at her house even when we didn’t live there and she was at work.  It was always home, no matter where we lived or how old we were.  We all brought our laundry there, for years after moving out.  She always had all the ingredients to make tollhouse cookies and I made many batches in her kitchen. 

One of my earliest memories is sitting on the couch in the front room shortly after Christmas, early one morning.  I was doing a craft kit I had gotten for christmas with Grandma.  It had some sort of pipe cleaners you made into animals and insects.  There was an earthquake.  My mom was still asleep in the next room and I was frightened she might have been hurt.  I always thought this memory was from the sylmar quake because I was only 3 or 4, but my mom has recently pointed out the timeframes don’t work – so some minor quake.

I remember that she always wanted to hug on me, and Inever wanted to be smothered.  I remember how in the end she always wanted to be touched, and I didn’t want to.

I remember all the Thanksgivings at her house, I can picture her place at the table, a photo I have with her hand inside the Turkey while she made a face.  But most of my actual Thanksgiving memories are the later years when I was an adult -when she carried a dish to the table with the dishtowel on fire, and when she fell.

I remember that we were eating Pizza when she had her gallbladder attack and emergency surgery.  I had to have been very little.  I remember she thought it was a heart attack.

I remember when my mom and I painted her bedroom pink and put in pink carpet for Mothers day in one weekend, because Grandma Brewer loved pink.  Bright, hot pink.  It was her color.  She looked good in it.

I remember the hall closet full of clothes in polyester prints, that I never saw her wear.  I remember her fingerprints embedded in the hard wood of the bathroom door, and the story of how she nearly beat down the bathroom door when my uncle fell asleep in the tub after returning from Vietnam.

I remember shopping.  Many hours of shopping, much generosity, and some of her trying to buy our attention and love, and I am sorry she felt she needed too.  But those hours, the give the take, it is a lot of our relationship for those middle years.

I remember how silly and giddy she would get when drinking; I remember being at the neighbors and her thinking the plant in the bathtub was smiling at her when she was going to the bathroom.

I remember all the life choices she made that I never understood, but they are a part of who she was too.

I remember how when I was growing up and I wanted to go out to eat, I knew to plant the idea with Grandma and she would convince mom, rather than asking mom directly.

I remember when we all went to Vegas on the spur of the moment when she retired.  I remember the dogs and cats she loved, and the one I bought her that didn’t work out. 

I remember talking to her about leaving her home and being afraid and being ready even though none of us ever wanted that or thought we would get to that point.  I remember the day she told me it was OK.  She liked Summerville.  I remember the day she told me she was sad that she was going to live her final years in Alamitos West.

I remember how much she loved me.  And I loved her.


  1. Oh A, I’m sorry.

  2. This post made me cry but I am so happy for all the memories you have that will last forever!

  3. That was very touching to read. Makes me think too about the totality of our lives and what people close to us will remember about each of us; how important these human relationships are.

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