Random thoughts sent to her minister - prep for memorial service next Thursday...
She was extraordinary in so many ordinary ways. Wonderful sense of humor, always ready to lend a hand and volunteer, loved us all so much. She surrounded herself with our pictures and she called me practically everyday. Best grandmother ever! She had so many dear friends who love her and had the gift of making you feel important when you were with her.
As you know, men loved her! She always had an escort or man in her life. Barney was certainly her truest love. I think the work she did with you made her believe she deserved loving devotion. And so he showed up! (18 years ago!)
She raised five children! Oy! She put up with my father and his nutty family!
Highly intelligent - did the NYT Sunday crossword in ink. Voracious reader. Loved PD James and cozy British mysteries. Jane Austen fan. Her fave movies were Shirley Valentine and anything with Audrey or Katherine Hepburn. She taught me to love classic films like "Now Voyager" and told funny stories about how all the men would light two cigarettes at a time and pass one over to their date after that movie came out.
Some of her best times were spent being zany and/or dramatic while dancing several seasons with the G'Anne Boyd Dancers. She was one of the tallest dancers and often played male roles with aplomb.
She absolutely loved dance and we've had season tickets to Houston Ballet for 35+ years! She was thrilled to watch her granddaughter Claire dance in the Nutcracker this year. She always made time to attend various performances by Ziggy and Claire - no matter how mundane.
Mom loved to travel and brought her sense of humor and open mindedness with her. I have several hilarious pictures of her in Europe - one posing by the Trevi Fountain with an unknown but picturesque gigolo. :)
That same trip she and her friend Kay wrapped themselves in toilet paper and won the cruise ship's costume contest dressed as mummies.
She had a blast at a couple of travel/ study programs at Cambridge in England. She loved San Miguel D'Allende and moved there in her fifties to party and learn Spanish!
She was quick to laugh and could see the humor in any situation, but she was also our main worrier. We all knew we could count on Mom to do our worrying for us. There was some comfort in that!
She also had incredible recall and could remember details and dates from decades ago. She was very proud of her parents and family. They were country folk from Missouri and moved to Houston in 1926 when she was 3. Her father Ernest opened the first Philco distributorship here and they were early adopters of air conditioning and color film.
She loved Houston and had tons of interesting stories to tell about growing up in the Heights and River Oaks area. She was a charter member of St. Luke's and remembers how they held services at Lamar HS before the church was built. She worked at the Houston Chamber of Commerce after graduating from TWU (then Texas State College for Women) in Denton. She met my dad (he worked at his father's Ford dealership downtown) at this time and after a brisk but dramatic courtship they married and my dad went to work for her father.
She loved her babies and breastfed even though it was "out of style". ( you don't have to mention that!)
She was a hard core volunteer - church choir, PTO, scouts - girl and boy, carpools galore! Later she was very active with The Bluebird Circle, Discovery Dance Group and her garden club - The Late Bloomers. She was a member of The Houston Country Club and even volunteered there to teach exercise classes in the ballroom several years in a row! You would have laughed to see them all prancing around to "Tequila".
She was an excellent cook and loved to throw a party. Her social schedule at 86 was way busier than mine! She was an organizer and joiner and had fun with various dance and supper clubs over the years.
She was lovely and joyous and interesting and interested. I am so grateful for her and am happy that she had such a full life. I am so glad she left as quickly as she did. Her suffering was minimal. She would have hated being an invalid.
That's all for now. I will send more memories as they come up. Right now Baby and I are waiting to see his surgeon at MDA. It's gonna be a long haul here it seems. Big bummer.