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Life

One More Hour

Far too many people have left this world far before their time. Cancer and heart disease have taken people I love at relatively young ages. Cancer has actually taken family away from me before I ever had a chance to know them.

aoibheanns-pink-tie-photoWhen I stumbled across this post by Tric a couple of weeks ago, I pondered the question. I thought of my Aunt Shirley, who was taken by cancer when I was 18. I thought of my Uncle Dave, whom cancer took when he was only 52. I thought of my Uncle Tom who, though he lived a full life, I still miss.

They were all wonderful, loving people who had unforgettable smiles and a zest for life. Any one of them could disarm you with their sense of humor, and bathe you with love. If I had to choose one person, though, that person would be my maternal grandmother.

Though I was seven when she died, I still remember the day we got the news. It was July 2, 1984. It was blazing summer day, the sun assaulting me with ultraviolet heat. I was sitting on the front porch fiddling around with a toy. The front door was open, but the screen door closed, so I heard when the phone rang. Seconds later I heard the wail of my mother as she was assaulted with the news that her mother had suffered a massive heart attack and died.

Being the ignorant and gauche seven-year-old I was, I made a snide comment about my mother crying. I didn’t know at the time I had lost my grandmother, but I felt incredibly small after I found out why my mother had been crying.

I wept openly at my grandmother’s funeral. As I sat there, tears pouring relentlessly from my eyes as the preacher spoke, my cousin, three years my senior, mocked me for crying. He told me to man up. I was stunned by his words. Of course, that cousin is a now far cry from that cold-hearted 10-year-old he was then.

My grandmother was an amazing woman. My mother is like her in a lot of ways. Extremely intelligent. Unforgettable smile. Hearty laugh. Friendly demeanor. Silly and sarcastic sense of humor. Very affectionate with her children and grandchildren.

Every time we pulled up to my grandmother’s house I would ask my mother if I had to let Grandma kiss me. My grandmother always attacked us with kisses the moment we walked through her front door. My mother always told me, yes, I would have to suffer the embarrassment one more time. I would give anything to be attacked again.

Sadly, I don’t remember many things about my grandmother since I was so young when she passed. I do, however, remember certain things. She laughed at us often. We, my brothers and I, were evidently very entertaining to her. I remember spaghetti dinners. Lots and lots of spaghetti dinners. My grandmother was Italian and cooked Italian. We always had spaghetti at her house. I remember the limp she walked with due to a deformation in her leg which was a result of contracting polio as a child. I remember her glowing smile and the thick lenses in her glasses. I remember the layout of her home, the home in which my mother grew up.

My grandmother was 62 when death claimed her. While that’s not terribly young, it’s not exactly a full life in my selfish opinion. She has an entire horde of grandchildren and half of them never knew her.

There are quite a few people I’d love to have one more hour with, but since I have to narrow it down to one to answer this question, it’s Grandma. Hands down. I’d love to spend one more hour with her.

Audience Participation Time!

Who would you, dear Maphia, choose to spend one more hour with if you could?

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Discussion

85 thoughts on “One More Hour

  1. I spend my hours with my wife.

    It sounds like your grandmother was an amazing woman. I’m glad you got some time with her and still have your memories.

    Like

    Posted by El Guapo | March 17, 2014, 8:53 am
  2. Paternal Granny.

    Tough as nails, yet soft as cotton. Kind, sweet Soul of a woman. She’s been dead for over 30 years and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Her impact on my life has been immeasurable.

    Other than my Mom (and wife & kids of course), she’s the person I have loved more than anyone I have ever known.

    Oh, yeah… she made the Best. Sweet. Tea. Ever.

    Like

    Posted by Fearless Leader | March 17, 2014, 8:55 am
  3. My dad. And any grandparent.

    Your grandmother sounds lovely. I love how you remember her.

    Like

    Posted by Chatter Master | March 17, 2014, 8:57 am
  4. How strange that we both wrote about our grandmothers today. Thanks for letting me know. I love this post. I too, have several people whom I would love to have an hour with again. My dad of course. He was only 54 when he died of Cancer. Both my grandmothers actually as I learned so much from each of them through the years. I never met my grandfather on my dad’s side, but I heard so much about him as a child and so many lessons often included a story about him, that I would love to sit and chat with him for an hour. In the end, I’m pretty sure I would likely choose my dad, my best friend simply because I still miss him so much.

    Like

    Posted by littlemisswordy | March 17, 2014, 9:09 am
    • I’m lucky in that I still have both of my parents, but both of my grandfathers passed before I could know them. The only grandparent I really got to know with my paternal grandmother, and she wasn’t the most gracious person I’ve ever met, sadly.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | March 17, 2014, 9:12 am
  5. Aw. I miss my grandma too. Lost her at 14. I have no grandparents left, neither does Pat. It’s sad.

    Like

    Posted by aliceatwonderland | March 17, 2014, 9:12 am
  6. You were a sensitive soul even back then, TD. Even then.

    Who would I choose? Nope. If I am going to fantasize, I won’t limit it to one hour or one person. I want a party — a family reunion. Because more than anything, I miss the laughter. My family members are/were a hoot.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | March 17, 2014, 9:15 am
  7. i’d like to spend that hour with my Dad. He passed away at 75 but we lived in different parts of the country and had grown apart. It always seemd like we’d have time to visit – sometime… Then he was dead. An hour to say good bye would be nice.

    Like

    Posted by Paul | March 17, 2014, 9:46 am
  8. Beautiful post. Sad. Bittersweet.
    We’re so much alike. Cancer and heart disease have taken so many of my family, and so many at a very young age.

    One more hour? My brother. But it would be excruciating, to only have that hour. I’m not sure I could let him go again.

    Dang it, TD, now you got me all choked up first thing Monday am!

    Like

    Posted by samara | March 17, 2014, 10:03 am
  9. I never met two of my grandparents, I’d love to have known my father’s mother.

    Like

    Posted by randomblog2014 | March 17, 2014, 10:19 am
  10. Our Italian grandmas would have made a great team in the kitchen.

    Like

    Posted by Eva | March 17, 2014, 10:31 am
  11. Sad post. I would love to spend one hour with the uncle that I recently lost…

    Like

    Posted by 1jaded1 | March 17, 2014, 10:32 am
  12. I would have liked to spend even one hour with my father’s father (my paternal grandfather) – I never met him and I hear he was an amazing and funny man. I would also like to spend an hour with my Uncle Kenny who let me sit in his bed in the early morning when he was visiting – and he gave me all his attention and made me laugh.

    Great post – and I wish you could spend just one more hour with your Grandmother and all those that died too early.

    Like

    Posted by Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher | March 17, 2014, 10:37 am
  13. i’m already having an emotional morning and now i miss my grandparents. so sad that we never get to really know so much of family. that’s why we appreciate who’ve got now as much as we can. life can’t be trusted.

    Like

    Posted by icescreammama | March 17, 2014, 10:39 am
  14. I’m debating between my dad and my favorite aunt. I’m leaning towards my favorite aunt. I was in my early 30s when she passed, and I’d never cried myself into a slobbery mess as much as I did during her funeral. I’d want to dig into her brain and understand her better. She was by far the best person I’d ever had the honor to love. I still wonder how she did it, she was married to a grouch, when he barked she laughed and kissed him. She was so wonderful, and now I’m sad because she’s no longer here… Thanks TwinDad for making me sad. ;)

    Like

    Posted by Marie | March 17, 2014, 11:49 am
  15. I lost my grandmother about the same time, 1983. I am sorry for your loss, TD.
    My dad, of course.

    Like

    Posted by merbear74 | March 17, 2014, 11:55 am
  16. This is a hard one. I lost my mother to cancer seven years ago, and I still miss her everyday. But we talked incessantly when she was alive and had truly beautiful final hours together. So though I’d love to have her back, I think I’d want to spend an hour with her grandmother, the great grandmother I met only once at the age of two. I’ve learned so many interesting tidbits about her throughout my life, that I’d love to have an hour for her to give me the quick version of her 88 years on the planet. Thanks for sharing your grandmother memories.

    Like

    Posted by T. D. Davis | March 17, 2014, 12:02 pm
  17. This is tough… my dad, maybe… he had Parkinson’s so it was hard to talk to him for the last years of his life. But my best friend died of brain cancer ten years ago. I miss him every day too.

    Like

    Posted by pouringmyartout | March 17, 2014, 12:25 pm
  18. Wow I can’t believe how much we have in common. First I’ll say, that I’m sorry you lost so many family members.

    Here’s the common: I have and uncle Dave and Tom although they are bad men. It’s weird that we both have/had uncles with the same names.

    I lost both my grandfathers when I was 7, one dropping out of nowhere with a heart attack. I was devastated.
    I had a grandmother with a limp, only she was missing a knee cap, hence the limp.

    Like

    Posted by behindthemask | March 17, 2014, 12:55 pm
  19. bounced over here from Elyse’s blog. Who would I spend that hour with? I was a little surprised by who came to mind. But then, after a bit of reflection, it made perfect sense. With my sort-of-adopted mother. She was the wife of my father’s business partner, and she and her husband were lifelong friends of my parents. She died of cancer when she was 58, but not before she had smothered me in her own particular brand of love. Her smile was crinkly and soft, and showed up often, and she would squeeze you half to death with her hugs. Her eyes twinkled with merriment, and she loved to laugh. She was a delight, and she was kind, and she was generous with her love.

    She was the only person who I would willingly make liver and onions for, and even, when cajoled a bit, I would bust out the giblets and gravy over white rice for her, since that was one of her all-time favorites. Yes, I loved her THAT much. If you knew how much I detest liver, you would understand completely. She was the best, and I miss her.

    Like

    Posted by ntexas99 | March 17, 2014, 1:14 pm
  20. Oh man. I can’t answer that… my grandparents on my mom’s side who both passed while I was in college. I miss them terribly. But, I knew them and got spend time with them. So, my grandma on my dad’s side. She passed away when I was 6 and while i have some memories of her, I don’t know if they are real, or just images from the pictures I’ve seen a thousand times in scrapbooks. Or, my friend Joe… he saved me in Junior High. He kept me sane for several years and then our lives drifted apart after college. He was killed in a car accident a few years later… I miss him too. An hour?
    I can’t choose. Can I see each of the four for 15 minutes instead?

    Like

    Posted by djmatticus | March 17, 2014, 1:53 pm
  21. Lovely post. I’ve never met my grandmothers and I’d love too. My maternal grandmother actually died when my mom was 12 so I’d love to have an hour with her.

    Like

    Posted by Deanna Herrmann | March 17, 2014, 2:57 pm
  22. I feel the same way about my maternal grandfather. He also died at the age of 62, when I was 12 years old. He was the kindest person I have ever met in my life. Even though my father forbade it, my grandfather always had a small treat in his pocket for my sister & I. He lost his hair early & his head resembled that of a tonsured monk, he spoke with a stutter & was a slight man. He was dwarfed by his wife, my mother & father. He worked really hard all his life at the railway & looked after my grandmother who had “nerve problems.” He loved olives & played the violin. His brother Joe came back from the war with “shell shock” & was an alcoholic to the end of his days & his sister was a shy little thing who never married. My grandfather had to marry late in life because of the war & adored his only child, my mother. He died at 62, as did his father, his brother & his sister – all of heart disease. I will never forget the 4 a.m. phone call we got to say he was being rushed to the hospital with chest pains & how I knew he died long before my father came home to tell us. He was always so proud of all of us, I wish he had lived a little longer so he could see how we all turned out.

    Like

    Posted by benzeknees | March 17, 2014, 3:25 pm
  23. My dad. Definitely.

    Like

    Posted by BrainRants | March 17, 2014, 8:01 pm
  24. It would be my brother. He died of cancer when he was 18… Heck, right now I’d settle for a vivid dream with him in it. I used to have them, years ago. It would be just us hanging out and it felt so real. When you talk about your loved ones having a zest for life and their humor, I always think that people that are taken from us too soon seem to be remarkable special people. I developed a theory after trying to make peace with losing my brother that once someone’s reached a certain level of insight and “good-ness” (for lack of a better word) that they moved on from this world. “Only the good die young”… I don’t know if that makes any sense and maybe it’s too deep for a comments section. Sorry, didn’t mean to go there, especially on a blog I often read but don’t know if I’ve ever commented on! While you say you don’t remember a lot about your grandmother, it seems that you remember enough to know how special she was and what kind of person she was. This was a beautiful tribute to her.

    Like

    Posted by Gretchen Kelly | March 17, 2014, 8:18 pm
    • Thank you, and I’m sorry to hear about your brother. I do remember certain things about my grandmother, but I mostly remember her through my mother, who is very much like her. I’ve also gotten to know her through some of the stories my mother has told me over the years.

      Like

      Posted by Twindaddy | March 18, 2014, 6:20 am
  25. My mum.
    Amazing people are so hard to let go of. Your gran sounds very much of one.x

    Like

    Posted by scottishmomus | March 18, 2014, 8:39 am

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