I was very close with my grandma. To me, she was the sweet woman who watched me sometimes and spoke little English, though that wasn’t an obstacle when it came to sneaking me sips of Big Red. As I’ve gotten older, my mom has told me things about my grandma that directly contradict my memories. I guess it makes sense, given that my grandma was in her eighties when I was born and I was too young to sense anything else.
When she was younger, my grandma was apparently quite a formidable woman. She was the one who laid down the law in the home, while my grandfather was quiet and deferred to her on domestic matters. She also had quite a hot temper. One of my favorite stories about her centers around a particular afternoon. No one remembers why Grandma was so angry with Grandpa, but she was apparently enraged enough to get a knife from the kitchen and she proceeded to chase him around the neighborhood. For some reason, this story always makes me laugh, because it illustrates how stubborn and feisty the women in the family tend to be. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.