On George Washington's birthday this year my grandma would have turned 89. This coming June, it will be 20 years since she left this world. 20 years. Time goes by so fast.
A little history about my Grandma Alice. She was either half Native or a quarter Native, I cant remember. She was from Sand Ridge, IL. As a small child she lived through the "Tri-State Tornado" and recalled seeing "the cows fly." She would later marry Clinton Mifflin, have four children and move to the Mt Vernon area. Clinton would die at the age of 32 when my mom was 5. She worked for McDermott's for about 35 years and never remarried. She was buried next to Clinton, 37 years after his death.
Of course I have fond lots of memories of my grandma. Here are a few. She always seem to have orange kool-aid made. My favorite. She had cable television. Oh yeah! At first it was just HBO but later it would MTV, ESPN, and USA. When my parents would go out, my sister, my brother and I would go to grandma's. So we would get to watch these channels that we didn't get at home. We lived in the "country" about a mile outside of city limits. I wouldn't get cable TV until I went to college. Anyway, I remember USA would run this show that played music videos for 2 hours, I think it was called "Night Flight". It would replay it when it was over. Another memory I have is fried chicken on Sundays. I'm starving just thinking about. I, also, remembering telling my mom that my grandma always ask Shawn to help her do things like carry in groceries and would never ask me. So my mom had to call her and tell her to stop feeling guilty.
I know you're asking "What?" I will explain. When I was 2 years old, I was like every other toddler wanting a drink from everyone's cup. On one particular occasion, my parents had went camping at Bluford Lake and the three of us went to grandma's. I guess I was thirsty and I grabbed my grandma's cup. But instead of a nice refreshing drink, I received scorching hot coffee all down my chest. (I was wearing just a diaper) I don't know how far it is from Bluford Lake to the 1400 block of South 12th street but my parents beat the ambulance, swooped me up and rushed me to Good Samaritan. My parents say that my skin was melting off. I spent the rest of the summer under a borrowed window air condition but I recovered and have no scars. My parents are still paranoid when it comes to kids and coffee. I think this incident effects my family today, but that is an extremely personal issue that I may or may not write about in the future.
Now grandma was a simple lady who would get excited over an ice cream from Dairy Queen. I don't really ever remember getting into trouble at her house. I do recall one occasion when she got the flyswatter after me. I also remember laughing about it at the time. Maybe it was because of the guilt she felt over the accident. I can understand why she felt that but the accident wasn't her fault, it was mine. After my mom's call to her, she started asking me to help
Looking back, I regret not spending more time with Grandma Alice when I was older. You know how it is in high school. You have so many things going on and hanging with grandma isn't high on the list. I had just graduated when she passed. One of the last memories I have of my grandma is of her and my family laughing. It was right after her surgery. She said " The doctor gave a bra and a boob to go in it."
That was my grandma Alice. A great lady.
Six months after her death, I lost my other grandma. Grandma Clara is definitely another topic for another day.
This was what was on my mind today.