Long story short: She isn't my grammal by blood or even marriage at this point.
BUT the fact is: She is, always has been, and always will be my grammal.
This is a great depiction of how I remember her. Always full or wisdom and knowledge to share. She was a constant reminder that stability and sanity did exist.
Most of my "good" memories as a child was with this woman. She always read to us, always cooked the most delicious homemade meals, and always let us be kids. She was well into her eighties when she would put us in our grandpa's t-shirts, turn on the sprinkler, and run wild with us through the water!
For several decades, Grammal Cleo worked as a manager at a JCPenny Plant. Her boss was a short bald headed man from New York City named Mr. Berkley. One week out of the month he would come down to Statesville, NC to help her out. Over thirty years, she bonded with this frugal Jewish New Yorker. And just a few years before he died, Grammal attended a charity event in New York with Mr. Berkley and his wife. While sipping on ginger ale, Mr. Berkley introduced Grammal Cleo as his southern gal that didn't drink nor smoke that ran his plant with a smile!
What a testament to the goodness that is within her heart and soul. This is my grammal. A God-fearing woman who remained true to who she was, and what she believed in.
photo credit: Capture Life Photography
I am forever indebted to this woman for her words of wisdom and love of the years.
And yes... that is Grammal with a "mal" at the end. We are from the south, you know! :)