I would do anything to meet, and have brunch with, the grandmother I never knew, Edna. I have often wondered how my mom became such an amazing mother considering she lost her own mom to cancer when she was still in college.
We have so few photographs of my grandmother that she has always remained a bit of a mystery to me. My mom recently found some of her diaries, so we have been able to read wonderful little excerpts from her life. She wrote about every play she ever went to (100+) and how she thought Stravinsky was much better than Rachmaninoff after seeing both men in concert.
My grandmother was a wonderful pianist and she immersed her girls in music and the arts. My mom studied the cello and my aunt, the piano. At our brunch, I would play my grandmother’s favorite classical music, Brahms, Bach and Stravinsky to remind her of the weekend trips she and my grandfather took to San Francisco from their home in Orinda so their daughters could enjoy the symphony, ballet and theatre. I would hope my grandmother could guide and inspire me to be the loving, supportive and strong mother she must have been to her own girls. She devoted her life to her girls.
I’d make sure my 3-year-old son was at our brunch, too. I think she’d like the fact that he was named after her husband and great love, Carl. I’d set the table perfectly with her wedding china and crystal. I would hope she would be flattered that I tried to select china similar to the beautiful green and gold leaf print plates she chose so long ago. I’d hope the weather was nice so we could eat outside. She was an enthusiastic gardener and an avid bird watcher who chronicled every bird she observed. I hope she would enjoy seeing the birds in my garden. I would try to make the corn bread sticks she used to make for her family on Sundays when they lived in the South early in her marriage when my grandfather was just launching his career.
I am sure I would hug her so tight and not let go - certainly the food would go cold and we wouldn’t eat a thing.
Alisa Ahlstone Lewis is the AVP of change management for a national insurance company, as well as the president of Sweet Peas & Stilettos – The Modern Mommy Guide.