This week I decided to do something a little different for short story Monday.  The following short story is one that I wrote when I went back to University in 1989.  I had just divorced my first husband of only 2 years and was starting to turn my life in a positive direction.  I only wish my Grandma Rose could have seen what I have done since she died. 

Let me introduce you to my Grandma Rose…
She was under five feet tall, but when measured from the top of her high bun hairdo, she was 5’5>’ She carried her head up high, proud of her life’s accomplishments, children, and grandchildren. Her name was Rose Bloom, and that is exactly what she was to me, a blooming rose.
Grandma Rose’s history was grand. She lived in Russia until she was twenty-one and then had to flee for her life. Russia didn’t like “dirty Jews.” She made her way to New York and then settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Grandma never seemed bitter about the hell she had gone through though she never talked about it. She was however, brave and bold.
I always looked forward to seeing Grandma. Even as a baby I can remember feeling her warmth and love that reached out to me. I loved the variety of antiques that she decorated her house and later, her apartment with. At the entrance she had a large green umbrella stand that had red, white, and yellow dragons painted on it. Large paper flowers of white, pink, light blue, and gold were kept in it. In her living room, she had a set of lamps that my sister, Lori and I had called “Whore Lamps.” The ornate ceramic bases had well defined top naked women, which made the lamps look almost animated. The velvet lampshades were off white, outlined on the tops and bottoms with wine coloured velvet ruffles. On her coffee table was a combination statue and music box with a little boy and girl kissing, which I gave her on Mother’s Day one year. She had all kinds of things that her grandchildren gave her, scattered throughout her apartment. She always loved whatever her children or grandchildren gave her, just because they were items given out of love.
The jewelery that Grandma wore was just as eccentric as her home furnishings. She wore heavy clip-on earrings, which clunked against her neck when she walked or turned her head. She had a stunning necklace that consisted of a two inch diamond studded “R” backed with 16 karat gold that hung from a thick gold herring-bone chain. Because it was her favourite, she rarely took it off. She also insisted on wearing her diamond engagement ring and wedding band, even when she made pie dough. The dough got stuck in the settings of her rings and she and my mother had to use toothpicks and ammonia to get it out.
Grandma was never old. She told me that she was ever lasting twenty-one and I believed her. She was part owner of Sam Bloom Iron and Metal Company and actually worked there five days per week until she sold her part of the business and retired at the age of 86. Throughout her life she donated time, money, and effort to various charities. Whenever Grandma and I went shopping together, I was always the one who got tired out. I told her that she could win World War III single-handedly. “Grandma”, I said, “If we ever have World War III, just bring the enemy shopping and they’ll drop like flies.”
Grandma was my best friend. When I was in high school and received my driver’s license, I drove to her place almost every weekend. We usually went out to lunch or supper together and sometimes hit one of the “Dales.” (Big shopping centers in Minnesota.) When I got married, Grandma was there for me, not as a spectator, but as my Matron of Honour. Even after marriage, our friendship thrived. I still went out with Grandma about every other weekend. When we went out to eat, we always argued over the bill. It was an honour to treat Grandma, but she only let me pay about twice per year. She enjoyed spoiling her youngest grandchild.
Grandma died in October of 1988 at the age of 87. I phoned her that Saturday morning to decide what time I should pick her up for lunch. My Aunt answered the phone and I knew right then that Grandma was gone. She was full of thriving life right up to that day. I lost my Grandma and my best friend. I will always miss her but have her with me in my heart, always.
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