My best friend's Grandma passed away this week. Since my own grandparents died when I was very young she was like a surrogate grandmother to me. So of course I wanted to pay my respects at the memorial services held in her honor at Manchester Country Club this afternoon.
After a brief eulogy the officiant encouraged us all to make our way up to the podium to share our very own thoughts and memories about Bernadette "Bunny" Crowley, nee LeBlanc. "It can be anything," she coaxed, "a special story you have about Bunny, something in your daily life that will always remind you of her, any happy memories of her that you may have. Anything."
Her voice sounded so earnest as she tried to get us all to participate (presumably to deflect any of the inherent awkwardness present in any funereal setting.) And truly, I wanted to be brave for my best friend, for her wonderful mother, for their entire family, and to step up to the podium (and minimize that awkwardness), take the mic in my hand and share my very own Grandma memories.
I thought long and hard about what my talking points would be. And I realized: the things I remembered best about Grandma were the bawdy things she used to say to me, not one of which would be appropriate to share in the middle of a high-class country club in front of god-fearing people gathered for a religious memorial service.
So I'll share them here:
About any moderately-attractive-to-good-looking man: "He's handsome! He can put his shoes under my bed anytime!"
When asked about her affinity for romance novels: "I'm old! I gotta get my kick somehow!!!"
Her answer when I foolishly asked if she was part Irish: "Irish? Oh, no, no, no, my husband was Irish. I'm all French -- French Canadian. But I'm Irish by injection!"
Thinking about Grandma now, I realize: this wonderful, vibrant, elderly woman was our very own bold, brazen, in-the-flesh Mae West. Unlike any other woman I've ever met, but exactly how I hope to be when I'm in my 80s.
I guess with a name like Bunny LeBlanc, what do you expect? With a name like Kitty, do you think I'm already predestined for such greatness?