Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gigi, and the Magic Wave

Today I started crying at JoAnn Fabrics. Right at the cutting table.

It wasn't the cutters fault, she was just doing her job. Not cutting two yards of magic fleece into two separate one yard strips. It's just not allowed. Company policy.

I didn't mean to cry, it's just that JoAnn Fabrics has so many company policies! It made me SAD!

Plus I had eaten like a pound of fudge in the car. A pound of fudge can really take it's toll on a girl's emotions.

Plus my Gigi had a stroke last night and I was on my way to the hospital to see her. Only I stopped. When I saw JoAnn's Fabrics. To buy some magic fleece for her.

I had already stopped at the flower shop where my daughter works and bought one of my daughter's arrangements. For Gigi.

Then I stopped again at In-N-Out because In-N-Out is a California joint and I spent lotsa summers in Cali at In-N-Out with Gigi and Papa.

From the drive through at In-N-Out I had a perfect view of Mimi's Cafe, which is Gigi's favorite restaurant . . .

Can you see why the company policies push me over the edge?

When my mom called me this morning with the news, she had been up all night by my Gigi's bedside. It appeared Gigi had no memory of anyone and couldn't speak.

My Gigi! The same Gigi who was struck by lightening three times and lived. The same Gigi who fed me Bean with Bacon soup every day for a month just because I wanted it. The same Gigi who kept her cookie jar full of Oreos all summer long, just because I wanted it. The Gigi who always had gum in her purse and taffy on her coffee table. Who let me take sips of her Shasta Cola in between cartwheels and who let me have my very own glass of Instant Breakfast when no one else was looking.

Hmmmm . . . it would appear that the way to my heart is through my stomach.

But she did other things too--like drive 12 hours from Cali twice a year bearing a Subaru full of clothing purchased at Value Village for me and my siblings. When she and Papa packed up to go back home they always said, "Does anyone want to come with us?" I always raised my hand, so they always piled me into their Subaru where I sat in the back, but leaned forward so I could be right in between Gigi and Papa the whole way. I didn't want to miss a thing they said.

Or ate.

Gigi always took me to K-Mart for the Blue Light Specials. She taught me how to make quesadillas (which she called casadillas) and let me watch game-shows with her all day long. We ate popsicles and put puzzles together and lit sparklers on her front porch.


(But I don't lub company policies.)

The last time I saw my Gigi was over Christmas. Thank goodness I snapped some photographic evidence.

And thank goodness I stuck my camera out the window at the very last second to capture this blurry, yet priceless, image of her waving goodbye as we pulled out of the parking lot.

Maybe for the last time.

Gigi and Papa ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS stood on their front porch and waved goodbye to us as we left their house. NO MATTER WHAT. And they didn't stop waving until we were out of sight. Once we actually drove around the block just to see if they were still there and sure enough they were. And they waved goodbye to us again.

Now that my Gigi is 89, and can't manuever herself around very well, we tell her not to worry about it. "We can make our way out and get on home without you waving from the front porch," we tell her.

But she insists.

When I saw her today, all still and quiet in that hospital bed, it kinda started a few cracks in my stone cold heart.

But she was doing better than I expected and her eyes teared up a little bit when she saw me. She also squeaked out the words "so pretty" when I showed her the flower arrangement my daughter had made. And she waved at me, from her bed, as I was leaving her room. Her arm was full of wires and tubes and leads and such, but she still managed to send me off with a wave.


So, do you wanna see the magic fleece I picked out for Gigi?

I made her a puzzle blanket . . .

Because she's one of those puzzle geeks, and I give her a new puzzle every year for Christmas.

And guess what else! I got the first flannel in the mail today for the Magic traveling baby quilt. See this post, Emma and Taylor for the story.


IWA (e - va) said...

What an awesome Gigi and awesome memories! Our prayers will be with her for a speedy recovery and also with your family!

Get that recorder ready to get more history from her!

I love the waving from the porch, My grandma Rene did the same thing! :)

<3 the quilt!

gigi said...

My real name is Gigi. My GRAND~daughters call me Gigi.
The littlest one has started calling me, "my Gigi" just as you did all through this post. I love it! Your post made me cry and made me want to be as good as your Gigi.

I am so sorry about this and I hope that things will be better for her soon.

Momza said...

Could there be a finer example of what joy Granparents can bring to their granchildren? Gigi has created a legacy that will be honored by everyone's life she touches. Beautiful post.

lori said...

Sending hugs your way. I'm so glad you have a wonderful Gigi in your life.

Garden of Egan said...

I loved your sweet memories of Gigi! I will pray fornher, cuz we need more sweet angels here.
I think she willnove the puzzle blanket!

sarahlynn said...

We will be praying for you and your Gigi. Love you.

springrose said...

Your Gigi sounds just like my Gammie! She is the one I wrote about for the first Magic Quilt. Only instead of Bean with Baccon it was Kraft mac and cheese! I would pretend to be sick so I could stay home from school and go to her house for the day. I would have moved in if I could have! She had a stroke when I was in 9th grade and passed away. I still miss her! But they know so much more now, if they catch it in time they can reverse the effects of the stroke. We think my gammie knew more about her health but didn't want to scare us. She was starting to go blind so my guess is she had a tumor. Not much they could do 21 years ago! But her beloved is with her now, and they are both now baptised and sealed for EVER so all is well!!! I just miss her.

I will pray for you and you Gigi. Love ya!

robin said...

Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of Gigi. It made me think of going to my grandma's every Sunday after church and putting together the same puzzle and eating Spagettios with french toast (made the Canadian way... not with icing sugar and syrup but with pepper and ketchup... yummy!)

Store rules are dumb and become even more frustrating when you are trying to do something special for someone. I wish Gigi all the best right now.

lunch box lowdown said...

Aw... :(

I am SO sorry!!!

I wish I had a Gramma like that. I didn't even get a Gramma really. My dad's mom was so old when I was young that I never got to know her. She was very quiet and very old.(although I should be thankful for her presence.. and I am) And my other Gramma is still living but kinda (well, not kinda at all actually) stopped being a Gramma when I was in 3rd grade. We moved away and I never heard from her again. :(

But your Gigi is the kind of Gramma I want to be! I am SO thankful for the Gramma's that set the example, so I will know how I want to be as a Gramma! I want to wave from the porch. I want to FEED them. I want to be your Gigi.

Barbaloot said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Gigi. Glad you have some many wonderful memories, and pictures, of her!

T said...

what beautiful memories... everyone should be so lucky to have a puzzling, bean 'n bacon makin' Gigi in their life!

Lub ya girl - keeping you and Gigi in our prayers :)

DeNae said...

I'm so sorry, Deb. This has to be hard. Sometimes these things work out better than you expect, and that's what I'm hoping for you and your grandmother.

Love you...

~A said...

Keeping your family in my prayers! What a wonderful grandmother- your memories of her are so vivid and beautiful (and yummy- bean and bacon soup!) that you'll always have a part of her with you. I hope she's doing much better soon!

Vern said...

My Grandma & Grandpa ALWAYS came outside and waved goodbye to us whenever we left their house. This makes me wish I had a picture of that. Hang in there, you AND Gigi.

Martha said...

You Gigi is the cutest ever! Get well soon Gigi.

Melanie Jacobson said...


I'm sorry.

Here's a big hug, okay?


Sandi said...

awwwww now I love Gigi too! I hope things are looking up for her. I always knew there were a few cracks in that cold stone heart of yours. Great lady, thanks for sharing her with us!

Marie Carlisle said...

You made me cry!!! Maybe it's a good things we don't get COMPLETE histories about all of our patient's because I would cry too much and wouldn't do my job. Now I have things to talk to her about when I help her at the hospital this weekend. I will get some juicy embarrassing stories about you as soon as she is talking more!

Sandi said...

p.s. what EXACTLY would be the problem with cutting the fabric however the customer wanted it cut??

Homer and Queen said...

I am so sorry! My FIL passed away last month...pretty tuff for my kids...your post makes me miss my grandma!!!

She always gave me cheese and chocolate just because I wanted it...Not together I hope.

Who knew I would still love cheese and chocolate.

Marta said...

you request 1 yard, and when she is finished cutting it, you request another yard. don't think they have a company policy against selling you a second yard.

M-Cat said...

So sorry about your Gigi - your post brought back memories of my own Grandma who I miss every single day and still dream about often.

I love that flannel quilt - she must abso love it!