We all loved spending time with my maternal grandmother and, coming from a large family, it was especially nice when you got her all to yourself. Periodically, she would have one of us come over and help her clean out her china cabinet. Everything came down and was hand-washed (no dishwashers there), the shelves were wiped down, and then everything went back in again. In the process, you got a special lunch, a few bucks, and to hear all the great stories that went with her china.
My grandmother loved music and there was usually something going in the background. The last time I helped with her china cabinet, she had the cast recording of Les Mis playing on the record player (I’m dating myself here, but she only had records). There are some musicals that creep up on you over subsequent playings, and suddenly you realize that you really like the music. Then there are others that catch you right away. Les Mis was like that with me – from the moment I walked into her house, I fell in love with the songs, the words, everything. I saw it twice on Broadway and sobbed my way through both shows (yeah, I’m fun to be around that way) and the last time we flew to Florida, I had it on my iPod so I spent my trip not thinking about dieing in a fiery ball, but rather dieing in the French Revolution.
These memories popped into my mind because of all the press revolving around Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see the shocked looks on the judges’ and audience’s faces because you know they were all thinking lousy/snarky thoughts about her before she started singing. Let’s hear it for the slightly plump, mousy women whom society has a tendency to either ignore or look down upon. You Go Girl!
I am reminded of what an important part my grandmother played in my life was when she was alive, and still continues to be 16+ years later. The first few notes of a song can bring to mind such a vivid memory, and such a pang of loss. Grandparents, this is a wonderful way to spend some alone time with your grandkids. You get a mostly-free workforce and they get a memory to keep. Trust me, we remember:)