Sunday, February 23, 2014

Conversations with Grandma-"Wine"

"Do you like red wine?"  My Grandma inquired recently on one of our visits.  "My doctor says that one glass of red wine a day is good for your heart."  Grandma had atrial fibrillation and needed a pacemaker, but refused to get one.  After losing one son, she had a constant fear that she would outlive my dad and rejected anything that could unnecessarily prolong her life.

"I do enjoy red wine, Grandma."

"I don't like it.  Now a nice white wine, a White Zinfandel, that I like.  But, the doctor says I should have one glass of red wine a day.  So, you know what I do?"

"What, Gram?"  I said with a smile.

Holding up her long, elegant fingers, worn with years of hard work, she measured about a quarter cup between your forefinger and thumb, "I put about this much in a glass and I put it in the refrigerator.  Then in the afternoon, I gulp."  Tilting her gorgeous greyed head back, she threw her make believe glass of chilled Cabernet Sauvignon into her mouth quickly.  "It's the only way I can stomach it, but the doctor says it's good for me, so I drink it."

I laughed with her.  "It's the truth." She said.

Weeks later, I found myself at my Grandmothers numb with grief.  Looking around the apartment that didn't smell like her anymore because she had bought a stupid cinnamon air freshener.  She never had things that smelled like cinnamon.

"Where do you want to start Dawny?"  My dad asked.

"I don't know," I said, walking in a daze, eyes filled with tears, running my hand on her table, her china cabinet, looking at my Tai Pei dresser inheritance that I would trade in a heartbeat to have one more conversation with her. "The Landlord told me we have to clean the fridge and the oven and that's it."  I glanced at dad who was opening the refrigerator to see what needed thrown out and what to keep.

"Dawny, do you want anything in here? She has eggs, butter, cream cheese."  I walked to the refrigerator, bending down to peer in.  On the top shelf sat a glass of chilled Cab Sav with just the amount she had shown me with her graceful hands.  I smiled to myself, my heart swelled with her memory.  Oh, how I miss her.

"The memories of the godly are a blessing."
Proverbs 10:7a

"Beer is made by men, wine by God."
Martin Luther Circa 1500s

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