I mentioned my Grandmother, Klea Worsley, a few posts back. Aside from my mother she is the biggest influence on my life. I spent time taking care of her as she was dying, which sounds like a downer, but it was actually pretty pleasant, because even with her in that diminished state, spending time with her made me feel good. Anyway, 10 things about my grandmother.
1. She let raspberries take over most of her backyard, and she'd go out and pick them in baggy men's work clothes, so the thorns wouldn't wreck her good duds. She wore knee high rubber boot too.
2. She was the chief chaperone of the Young Ambassadors, a singing group of young Mormons from Brigham Young University. She traveled all over Europe and Asia with them in the 60s and 70s. If you can imagine the most cringe worthy swing choir on earth that was them. She thought they were wonderful and loved them as if they were her own children.
3. Sometime in the late 60s, having divorced her husband in the early 50s, she began keeping company with a rotund elderly gent named Vic. He wanted to marry her, but she held him off. In fact she complained constantly about his habits and opinions, which were in fact quite surreal. But she continued spending several evenings a week with him until he died.
4. She kept excellent track of 30 or so grandchildren -- and later many great-grandchildren, never forgetting a birthday. I'd be hard pressed to name them all at this point.
5. She used to say "Oh, my stars" as an epithet, and occasionally "Gash" because "Gosh" was too close to taking the Lord's name in vain. She also frequently said that things she found distasteful were "enough to gag a maggot."
6. She was convinced she was going to hell, and told me so more than once, without saying why. After she died my mother told me she had a serious, if physically unconsummated, love affair with a Mormon Bishop, and I surmise that this was the great sin that weighed on her. My grandfather was pretty much a total prick to her their entire married life.
7. She could type faster than anyone else on earth. Seriously.
8. She wrote poetry all her adult life, and though handicapped by not being a homosexual drug addict, a lot of it is pretty good. She even published in small journals of Mormon Literature, proving that Mormon Literature isn't a complete oxymoron, Orson Scott Card notwithstanding.
9. She was completely uncontaminated by irony, but would laugh at anyone's jokes to make them comfortable, even if it was obvious she had no clue what was funny.
10. She would, without prompting, complain bitterly about the shortcomings of her friends, or family members, but manage to do it without seeming mean. This kept me on my toes because she was unfailingly loving and solicitous with these same people upon their next meeting -- I wondered what she said about me when I wasn't around.