On letting go

Gam’s in the hospital. Trouble breathing. Pneumonia. Morphine.

Life is shutting down. Things are shutting down.

Bodies once stong are shouting I quit. I’m done. I’m ready.

 “I’m tired,” she said. “I’m ready to go Home.”

I notice my fingers tight around my phone and my teeth grinding.

You’re not ready.

I want to see you again. I want to take more pictures. I want to hold your face in my hands and tell you how amazingly full my life has been, and is, because you have filled it.

That I’ve been mad at you, laughed with you, bragged about you, smiled with you, been-OK-with-life because in the back of my head/heart I knew it wasn’t just me on those bad days, good days, just-days.

Selfishly, I want you to stay.

I want one more time, lots of times.

I want my friends to meet you.

I want to show you where I work, and where I make coffee and where I go outside and stand on the roof when I get stressed.

I want to show you where I run and hike and where the deer live.

I want you to meet my husband.

I’d love for you to meet my kids.

Some people have grandmas. I have a great friend.

Some of us have family. I have you.

Some people feel blessed. I know it deeply.

I’ve had plenty of times.

Sprinkles-on-my-oatmeal times.

OMG-did-you-really-just-say-that times.

Wait-would-you-please-say-that-on-video times.

I-need-you-to-pray-for-me times.

Knowing-I-never-had-to-ask times.

I’m-so-angry-at-you-I-don’t-want-to-talk-to-you times.

Please-don’t-stop-hugging-me times.

There’s only one her–and I got to spend 30 beautiful years knowing that of all the grandmas that have ever been, God gave me Gam. What a gift.

So, about letting go, Gam–

How blessed am I knowing that the reason it hurts to let you go is that you never let go of me?

Times…I hope we’ll have more. But for now, know that it’s OK, and that I know.

Go drink a cup of real coffee. One that doesn’t taste like battery acid, or burnt socks.

Go hug Pop, and eat pizza, and go dancing, and drink Beringer.

Karate chop something. See how many boards you can break.

Take Fluffer for a long walk on the beach.

Make a new kerchief for your hair.

Go crabbing.

Feed the seagulls.

Sing with the Angels. I think you’ll see you were right about the right way to worship Jesus.

Teach Jesus your favorite kata.

Ask Him all your questions.

Dance with Him. I bet he’s got a special pair of egg shakers just for you.

Challenge Him to a game of Scrabble. I’m not sure He will be up for your version, but you can try.

You are the best old soul.

The ‘best old soul of the whole wide world.’

And I am blessed, blessed, blessed to call you Gam.

Thank you Jesus for giving me a ninja for a grandma.



When I was in college, Gam would take me to the beach and we’d feed seagulls.

Even in the middle of winter.

The best time to feed seagulls, she says. 

 Always popcorn. She could get them to snatch kernels right from her fingertips.

Just like when we were wee.


Some cute small child taped that phrase to the stop sign on the corner by my folks’ house.

Which is good, because Gam likes to call and get updates on the little friends living in the drainpipe in their front lawn …

Some people would call an exterminator or animal control.

But they sure wouldn’t do this …

Or this …

Or this …

And they’d never have the chance to do this. 🙂

It’s a Wilson thing.

I think our wee friends felt so loved last summer that they came back to do it all again.

But seriously, who wouldn’t when the crazy people who live in your backyard leave you such fun snacks?!

(Yes, that was our Thanksgiving turkey.)

They were huge fans.

Unfortunately, so were the coyotes that came through later that night.

Oops …

Optimism, Take 2

I wake up to a buzzing phone. It’s Gam. And it’s 6:30 a.m.


“Jenny? It’s Gammy! And I’m just calling you to tell you that today is going to be a GOOD day, with the help of the Lord.”

“Oh yeah?” I roll over and squint at the clock. Yep. It’s 6:30.

“Chess! Because you’re going to pray it so, aren’t you?”

“Of course.”

“Ok. And we’re OFF! Talk to you tomorrow!”


The cancer (never referred to as such . . . Gam always says “this thing” or “this disease,” or, my favorite, “this silly thing that they say I’ve got” . . . ) is a little unpredictable. It gives her good days where she feels like dancing and going on dates; and bad days where she can’t stay awake for more than a few moments at a time and wonders if “this is it.”  I hate those days.

But the Optimism keeps her going. Maybe it keeps me going, too. It’s her extra Ninja Trait, and by far my favorite.

If were a silly thing like cancer, I wouldn’t want to mess with Gam today. It’s going to be a good one.


What happened to your boobs?

“Jenny, you’re not very big, are you?”


“Your boobs. You don’t really got ’em.”

“Thanks Gam.”

“So what’s wrong with you?”


“Your mother has them. Your aunt has them. I’ve got bozooms.”


“As a matter of fact I think everyone in your whole family’s got bozooms–‘cept you and your sister.”

[Cricket Cricket Cricket]

“So, what happened to you?”

“I have no idea Gam.”

“Oh well! You’ll have to use your legs. You’ve got nice legs.”

Banana Bread Eric

I’m horrible at picking up my phone. So when Gam called a few days ago and I actually answered, she took it as a sign.



“I got you! On the first ring! This must be an omen.”

“An omen? What kind of o–

“Jenny, did you ever meet Eric?”


“Eric is the most lovely man. A maintenance man who works here at Riddle! He is my personal maintenance man. Well not really but I like to think of him that way. I asked if I could be just mine and he said yes.”


“Jenny he is just the nicest man. He came to my apartment today and helped me hang a clock. And then he stayed for an hour and visited with me, and then he asked me, ‘Mrs. Wilson do you like banana bread?’ And I said yes and he said he was going to make a loaf for me and then deliver it on Monday morning!”


“Did you hear that Jenny? He makes banana bread.”

“That’s nice Gam.”

“You like banana bread!”

“Well I guess its meant to be, then.”

“Anyway, I told him that I have four beautiful granddaughters, and that two of them might be coming to visit in May. So I asked him, ‘Could you stay single until May?'”

Apparently Eric said that would not be a problem.

I mentioned it to my mom the next day. (“Oh–Erick. The maintenance man. With the banana bread. I heard.”)

I guess word gets around. I don’t know who’s rolling their eyes more–me or Eric–but I look forward to meeting him in May.

This better be some freaking amazing banana bread.

(Thanks, melikesyou.blogspot.com, for the awesome cartoon.)