Rocky, by any other name…

When I was 12 or 13 – somewhere in there – I got a Ouija Board for Christmas. I adored my Ouija Board as any excitable little tween would, and I played with it any chance I got. My friends and I dragged it out during sleepovers, my sister and I played during the full light of high afternoon when we were less likely to freak each other out, and I even took it once during a visit to show my Gram.

My Grammy Winnie is a sweet, sweet lady. She lived for most of my life in a senior highrise in a quiet pocket of the city, away from most everything. And Gram was a social creature – being so far away from the mall, downtown, and other senior hangouts (thank god for the bus line) meant that she knew every blessed person in her building. It’s important to the story that you know this.

So this afternoon in particular, my mom had driven my brother, sister and I (and presumably baby Rhi?) over to Gram’s. A senior center doesn’t have a lot for kids to do, particularly when we weren’t allowed to make any noise, so Kim and I took out my Ouija Board. We had all kinds of fun entertaining everyone with our questions and the mystic’s answers. Especially when we asked if Gram was going to find a boyfriend.

Gram’s husband (er, that would be my dad’s father) died when she was young. My dad was only 11, so that puts my gram in her 30s. It wasn’t a particularly happy marriage, but still, Gram never remarried. She did have a honey for a year when I was very, very little – I remember him mostly through the pictures, and once of my mom telling 2-year-old me not to ask about him (how weird that I remember that!) – but except for that, Gram has been on her own. Well, not really solitary – she’s extremely social, remember? But without a sweetheart.

The Ouija Board told us that day that Gram was going to meet a man, a man named…Rocky. Oof. Yeah, the Ouija Board’s credibility took a bit of a hit with that one, I’ll admit. Rocky was going to meet Gram near a Christmas Tree. And I think there was something about the 5th floor?? My mom let Kim, Joe, and I traipse through the lobby and the halls – quietly! – looking for Rocky. We let out loud, excited giggles every time we saw a hint of Christmas garland. Thank goodness we didn’t see a man anywhere near one because I’m pretty sure we would have assaulted him in our matchmaking fervor. We never did find Rocky. Neither did Gram. And after a few years, even the occasional family jokes about Rocky faded. We forgot all about him.

A few weeks ago, my sister Rhi texted me out of the blue (not that she doesn’t text me, we text all the time. The subject was the unusual part) to say Gram had created quite a stir. She had met someone. His name wasn’t Rocky, she joked, and I laughed remembering. No, his name was Mike, because of course it was. She had met him at the rehab center she moved to last year after she busted her hip while out dancing or galooping or what have you. It wasn’t under a Christmas tree, either. Gram had convinced her roommate to go out and meet people. They walked into several rooms, introduced themselves and created a fun-filled ruckus. Or at least, it was fun-filled until the night the rehab center called my dad to say they had lost his mother. Yep. Gram was missing. As in they could not locate her. Anywhere. She turned up later in some guy’s room in the middle of a pick-up poker game. How we laughed! Gram might be social, but she is not a men’s-company-loving, poker-playing broad by any sense of the imagination. But that’s how she met her fella. And seeing her write to us all about her gentleman was so sweet.

Then, two weeks ago, during the week of work crises and other crises and general crappiness I was experiencing, my sister Rhi IMed me to say our Great Aunt Millie, my grandmother’s sister had passed. It was extra-sad, Rhi said, because it was so unexpected. I busted out laughing, the first time in days. “She was ninety years old!” I exclaimed. “Yeah…but she wasn’t sick or anything!” Rhi answered. I knew what she meant. And not that it wasn’t sad for my gram, but still – it wasn’t like she was a spring chicken. And not 10 second after we had that conversation, Rhi casually segued right into, “Oh, and by the way, Gram got a diamond last night.” Yessirree, as in an engagement ring. I asked.

My 95-year-old grandmother is engaged. Well, married now, but still. 95. Ninety. Five. And engaged. Don’t get me wrong, I am tickled pink, I’m beyond happy that my sweet Gram who has been alone for 60+ years has the joy of new love. But dang it – my 95-year-old Gram is getting more action than I am!! It tugged at the corners of my smile a lil, is all I’m sayin’.

Despite the initial family drama (“They can’t get married! They’ll get thrown out of the senior center! She’ll lose her benefits! Why can’t they just shack up?” “Fah heaven’s sake – let the lady get married! She hasn’t lost her marbles, just say ‘Ma, we’re a little concerned because you might x, y, z. And let the lady decide! Sheesh!”), Gram and Mike had a nice little ceremony at the center where they live (apparently they have fake ceremonies for such circumstances) and started shackin’ up. Kim and I are looking for sexy negligees to send just because we’re hilarious like that.

And I hope dear Mike understands if we call him Rocky from time to time. They might not have Christmas trees in Florida, but it looks like Gram found her fella after all.

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3 Responses to “Rocky, by any other name…”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Love it!! Gram is gettin’ more action than me too. I am so glad she found her Rocky after all these years.

  2. gayle Says:

    Oh my gosh, that is so sweet! Yay for your Gram and Mike!

  3. sugarmag Says:

    I love it! You go, Gram!

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