My grandmother had the ability to make everyone laugh, even when she didn't necessarily mean too. Then she would start to laugh too, which again would make everyone else laugh, and the process would continue until we finally regained our composure.
We would always take an annual trip to the local amusement park with my brothers, my mom, my grandma, whom we called "Nana," and me. Even when she was in her eighty's, Nana would go on some of the rides with us. She generally when on the calmer rides, like the Ferris wheel or the merry-go-round, but she also went on the "river rapids boat ride" with us. She wore a wig, and during the entire ride, she'd be holding on to the top of her head so her wig wouldn't fall off. Whenever we would hit a bump or when the boat would change direction, she would let out one of her hallmark loud "Whooooops!" The first time, the other passengers in the boat besides our family members would just kind of snicker and look at her. But by the 4th or 5th time, everyone on the boat, family, friend, or stranger, would be laughing hysterically; including my grandmother. In between her shouts of "Whoooops!" of course. I'm sure the other passengers later recounted stories of the crazy lady who was holding on to her hair and shouting "Whooooops!" at random moments.
As my grandmother got older, like many people, she became more blunt, and would not hold back her true thoughts or feelings. One Christmas her son got her a VCR for Christmas. Nana didn't have much contact with her son in her later years, because he lived in Georgia while she lived with us in Missouri. My uncle had called my mom to ask her what Nana would want. My mom explained that Nana spent most of her day watching TV, and she thought she might enjoy watching videos.
On Christmas morning, she opened the gift. She stared at it for a few seconds before remarking, "What is it?"
"Well, at the library, we can get special tapes to put in it, and then you can watch it on your TV, Nana," I explained.
"You can watch some of the older programs, like 'Anne of Green Gabbles' or 'The Sound of Music,'" my mom explained.
There was another pause before Nana exclaimed, "Well, why would I want to do THAT?"
I don't exactly remember our reaction to that one, but I'm pretty sure it involved prolong silence. It's a good thing her son wasn't there at the time.
Another time my grandmother's bluntness came out in full force was when I came home once during my Freshman year of college. It hadn't been that long since I'd last been home; maybe a month or so.
"Oh, you've grown!" my grandmother declared.
"No, Nana," I gently corrected her. "I haven't grown for a couple of years now."
There was a short pause before Nana amended her observation. "Well, then your bust is bigger."
I think my eyes almost bugged out as I choked on the carrot I was eating. Sadly, that was one of the last times I saw Nana alive. She died about a month later, at the ripe old age of ninety-six. I can't wait until I can see her again one day in heaven. I'm sure it will be a grand reunion with all of heaven laughing. Even the angels.
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