Actually, "a short drive south to the border". I've mentioned that my maternal grandmother lives in Laredo. This week after receiving a birthday card in the mail from her my husband suggested we drive for the day and visit her on Sunday.
It's the little things that my honey does that make me appreciate the man I married. It's been a few months since we saw her last and though I talk to her once or twice a week during my commute home, the offer to go see her was a wonderful gesture from my husband.
Grandma is relatively young and her mind is probably sharper than mine! We are very fortunate to still have her (my only living grandparent). I am very close to my grandmother. I like to tell people why my grandma's opinion matters so much to me. She has an incredible sense about people and so over my lengthy single years I introduced her to a couple of boyfriends. Most of the time she liked them, or more accurately she didn't dislike them. I would ask her opinion. "Que te parese?" (What do you think?) and her usual response was "No esta mal" (He is not bad!)
There were a few occasions when she absolutely did not like the men I dated and she wasn't afraid to tell me. Once I was so disappointed and hurt about how blunt she was I didn't talk to her for weeks. I later tried to smooth things over with her telling myself she was wrong and ignored her advice. Well you can guess how that turned out. Heartbreak, disappointment, shame; and despite how awful I felt my grandmother knew exactly how to comfort me. After one particular failed relationship my grandmother told me the wises words... "Lo bailado, nadie te lo quita." the phrase is hard to translate. It literally translates to no one can take away from you what you've danced. A better translation is no one can take away from you the good times you did have.
I have used that comforting line on those dear to me getting over a breakup and the laugh they get knowing that was grandma's advice is as healing as any hug.
I remember asking my grandmother what she thought of my husband when she first met him, and I never really got an answer, you see... She first met him when she and my mother flew back from a trip to Chicago. My honey went with me to pick them up at the airport. He was such a great help; my grandmother is in a wheelchair and the woman does not know how to travel light. We drove them to my mother's from the airport and my honey was wheeling grandma in the house. I was holding the door open and looked away for a second looking back to make sure mom did not try to unload any of the heavy suitcases on her own. When I turned back around my honey was bench pressing grandma!!
He had been backing grandma in the house in her wheelchair and pulled on the chair hard to get the tires over a bump when his "chancla" (flip-flop) slipped and he fell back, pulling grandma in her wheelchair on top of him. When I turned to look at them again I didn't see grandma's face but her orthopedic shoes up in the air!! It took a while to register; by the time my eyes made their way down to the floor my honey's face was beat red as he strained to speak "pull her up".
He was angry at me for just a moment before he felt embarrassed, because what might have taken me a couple of seconds to asses what had transpired probably felt to him like several minutes and then the realization that he had tipped over my grandmother set in.
We got grandma upright again and my honey could not apologize enough; of course grandma was just mortified!! To her the inconvenience she felt she was and almost crushing my honey was unbearable. So much for first impressions. I love telling that story! Being the smart ass that I am and having a sick sense of humor, I enjoyed very much telling my in-laws how their son had dropped my grandmother. The look on their face and watching my honey squirm at the memory has been priceless.
So we are on our way to visit grandma today. I know my husband will be quietly reliving that first meeting as well as grandma, and this sick woman laughing at those thoughts!