Little mom-mom was so cool. Writing about her makes me really wish she was still here to talk to. She was still so spunky in her later years, even those last few at the nursing home. Most of the other old people were only half with it so she was the reigning bingo champ. We'd go and visit on sunday afternoons and she'd be in the big sun porch playing bingo and she always won and she'd always pick the big bag of m&m's for her prize to give to me and my brother (who was only 5 at the time of her death). My mom tells the story of one time when my brother went to hug her. She had stopped wearing a bra in her later years - too hard to fasten so why bother was her philosophy - and one time Tim went to hug her and her boobies hugged him back and supposedly there was a shocked look on his little face like "what the heck just happened there?" that my mom says still brings tears of laughter to her eyes.
My grandparents weren't all that great as grandparents go. While we were growing up, they did a lot of travel, and while good for them and all for getting out and living, they never offered to take my family (who was pretty poor at the time - we didn't need to go to europe or anything with them but a family trip to florida would have been nice), and we rarely saw them. Seriously, even though my grandparents lived 45min away, we saw them 3-4 times A YEAR. That's Thanksgiving, Christmas, maybe Easter, and either a memorial day, 4th of july or labor day picnic for good measure. And once they started getting old and not getting out, that's when we started seeing more of them. The last time they traveled was to our wedding 3.5 years ago. About a year after that they moved into a retirement center and somehow they haven't moved into the assisted living section yet, but we think that's right around the corner. Wish we had more time with them when they were vibrant and alive and living life, instead we get a lot of them when they are dull, sit around a lot, and can't control bodily functions. This sounds so mean, and maybe it is. It's just that the contrast of their later years to the vibrant life in the face of old age little mom-mom or my mom's mother (sooooooo much to say on her when we get to that side of the family) lived to the end is so drastic.
While I hope they stay alive long enough for Natalie to remember them, regardless of how long that is for now, she's not going to have the chance to remember them like I remember my great grandmother. I worry that she's just going to remember enough of those old slightly smelly people who complained a lot to say "yea, I remember my great grandparents, whatever." Which is another reason when we go to grandpa's 90th party in a few weeks we've GOT to record some of his tales. I think grandma is probably a lost cause, but he at least still has a hint of that former twinkle in his eyes.