Gingerly Lizzy

2002-07-12 - 2:57 p.m.

I just had lunch with Katie at The Olive Garden.

I love that she is here. I love that we can talk about anything whenever we want now in person or over the phone.

I love that we are best friends and always on each others side...well most of the time.

She told me that she had a dream about our Nonny (grandma)last night. She dreamt that Nonny was with her, hugging her and telling her she loved her. Somehow I think it was more than a dream. Nonny passed away when I wasin grade 12. She lived in Michigan, and we didn't see her as often as we would have liked. Katie doesn't have too many memories of Nonny before she got old... and got sick. I still have some wonderful ones and it was nice to be able to share them with her. I remember peach nails and lipstick. Perfectly coifed hair, the bluest of blue eyes, expensive leisure suits, Estee Lauder lipstick in a gold tube and Estee Lauder perfume, siamese cats, and the yellow room with that patchwork quilt that we used to sleep in with the really comfortable bed that bounced because of the springs. I remember the pictures in the hallway, of all of the family, babies, weddings, family portraits and one of my father where he was so young and so handsome that I thought if I had been a teenager back then I would have had a crush on him.

I remember all of the different playing cards. Nonny's weekly bridge games. My favorite deck, the aqua blue ones with the ballet dancer from some Degas painting with silver gilted edges. Nonny taught Katie and I to play Kings in the Corner. I remember all of the art books always topping off the coffee table-my favorites being Monet and Renoir, and the art supplies and half finished canvases littered on the guest bedroom floor.

I remember that playing on that blue thing in the guest bedroom (that I later learned was for doing sit-ups) and wondering what the heck it was for, thinking it was some kind of slide for babies.

I remember the window full of antique glass bottles on glass shelves that caught the light when it came into the room. They were beautiful.

I remember easter egg hunts and an egg would always be hiding in one of the antique crystal chandlier lamps that were on the piano (that now sit on that same piano in our living room at home). I remember the can of cards-all different kinds-birthday,Christmas, sympathy, get well. We used to go through them and look at all the pictures. Sometimes Nonny would let us have them and we would cut them up and paste them on paper to make our own cards.

I remember the white wallpaper in the kitchen with the silver flowers that would shine. I remember the blue velvet couch that was always so uncomfortable but always so regal looking-I used to imagine the queen sitting there. I remember Nonny's fondness of the Royal Family, and that once we went to stand on the street to watch Queen Elizabeth Drive by and wave at us from a navy blue limosine.

I remember her white bathroom with the marble countertop and the dark brown wooden shutters that I used to play with while I sat on the pot.

I remember her vanity, with the glass top and old pictures of people I didn't know but were somehow related to, tucked beneath. I remember the cluttered, dark closet in her room that I was deathly afraid of, and the cat-Andrew- that would always hide inside whenever people came over. I remember the four poster, dark cherry wood bed with its white coverlet and white satin pillows. The bed seemed so huge and high and I could imagine a fair princess. Whenever I woud sit on the lie in that bed, I would imagine that I was sleeping beauty, waiting for my fair prince.

I remember the beautiful silver tea service, the grandfather clock with it's grand sounding chime. I remember the antique dining room table with straw woven chair bottoms and remembered the stories my father would tell of my Nonny tying him to the chairs during dinner time with panty hose once because he wouldn't sit still. The fridge always held a box of peanut butter twix-her favorite. There was a letter opener with a clear plastic handle that had little dyed flowers and grains inside.

To this day I can still remember the smell, my nonny's smell, a mixture of estee lauder perfume, baby powder, real estate, and something else that was so distinguishable but undiscernable.

I remember going to swim at the huge community pool and Nonny telling us to behave like ladies, not to run, and wearing her nude colored bathing cap or the white one with ruffles while doing laps.

I remember her rose bushes, crowded out by the cement patio but ever in bloom.

I remember teasing Nonny about drinking beer-she always seemed much more like a lady who would drink wine. Beer just seemed so hard for a woman with such class that the queen would feel comfortable having her to tea.

There was the time that she got in a fender bender one night. I must have been about 6 or 7, Katie was 5 or 6. As I saw the police pull up, lights flashing, I thought they were going to put my Nonny in jail and so I sat in the back seat wailing and sobbing while my sister looked on in confusion. Nonny felt horribly for how upset I had gotten so she took us to the supermarket and bought us new coloring books and crayons and then home where she gave us a hot bath and let us drink hot chocolate before she put us to bed.

And then there was the time that she bought me a leather ET doll for my birthday, unaware that the movie had terrified me, and I refused to take the doll home with its glowing red heart and finger.

There was the huge stuffed animal eagle that we loved to play with and it was after almost 10 years that we discovered there had been a little baby stuffed eagle tucked in a hole under it's bottom tail the whole time.

These are just bits and pieces of memories. None of them are complete, all of them are especially precious to me.

They are a part of me, part of what made me... me.

I write them down like this so that I will never forget. I hate forgetting things, letting parts of my life slip away with time.

Don't you love it when something comes back to you, seemingly out of nowhere? And for a minute, you can remember exactly how you felt, what you smelled or tasted... and for a moment you live it all over again.

What I wouldn't give to be able to live some moments all over again.

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