Family · Running

To My Grandmother on Her 90th Birthday

My grandma turned 90 today. 90! What do you say to one of the most influential women in your life as she enters her 10th decade?

It seems right to say thank you.

So, thank you, Grandma.

Thank you for hanging out with me at the bus stop while I waited for the bus in elementary school. We played “Mother, May I?” and it distracted me from any anxiety that I may have had about the upcoming school day.

Thank you for teaching me the card game classics: Steal the Old Man’s Bundle (sadly, I’ve forgotten how to play that one – you’ll have to refresh my memory during our next visit), Go Fish, and Crazy Eights. If there was some minor gambling involved, too, I swear I won’t tell anyone. I keep looking for a Go Fish table in Albuquerque’s casinos, but no luck yet.

Thank you for giving me the first memory I have of baking. It was during one of our annual summertime visits to you and Grandpa in Buffalo. The boys had gone off on a fishing adventure. You and I didn’t feel like fishing, so we stayed at the house and made brownies, and you showed me how to use a toothpick to see if the brownies were done. As I recall, those brownies were absolutely delicious. And we probably saved at least a couple for the boys. Maybe.

Thank you for your dancing genes. Okay, I say this loosely, because you actually went out on the town and won dance contests, and when I dance in public, the general reaction is equal parts humor and horror. Still, I love dancing, and I don’t care how I look, and I credit you for that.

Thank you for keeping lots of family photos on your walls. There’s no easier, faster reminder of how blessed – and awesome – one’s family is than to have photos of them and look at them regularly. I may only have a smattering of family photos in my own home, but I’m working on that!

Thank you for the Irish heritage. Do I really need to explain that one?

Thank you for instilling in me a love of chili. Now I will admit that it took years for me to gain a proper appreciation of that hearty stew, but it has become one of my favorite dishes in cold weather. Shoot, in any kind of weather.

Thank you for the stories you tell. One of my goals in life is to be able to tell a story half as well as you. Including the off-color ones.

Thank you for being such a tolerant, supportive matriarch to a family of nutty runners.

Thank you for being sassy.

Thank you for showing that keeping a healthy sense of humor goes a long, long way – and that the occasional healthy shot of Bailey’s doesn’t hurt, either.

Thank you for all the hugs.

I guess it all just boils down to this: thank you for being such a terrific grandma.

Happy birthday, and here’s to many more!

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5 thoughts on “To My Grandmother on Her 90th Birthday

  1. The Banks of the Greatest Generation are just plain good people. So glad I have met such wonderfully spirited people. Happy Birthday Grandma Banks!

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