Happy Birthday “Grandma #2”
A number of people come into and out of our lives on a daily basis. Some leave stronger impressions than others but I feel that even fleeting encounters with complete strangers leave a footprint on our lives. Another couple who have played a huge part not only in my own family but the entire community in which I live are like the second grandparents everyone wishes that they had (many are lucky enough to call them parents and grandparents). I have always thought of them as “honorary grandparents.” Roy and Margaret always lived by example. Raising their own family in a loving, Christian household but going way beyond that in everything.
I have to say that my first memories of Margaret happened in my own house where my mother operates a beauty salon. After my maternal grandmother passed away when I was in the first grade, Margaret became almost a second mother. Following my 4th grade year, the poodle which my family had owned since I was maybe a year old had to be put to rest. To say that I was devastated would not be far from the truth. The following Christmas, we received a parakeet which we named “Corky” in honor of Margaret whose nickname is “Kork” probably because of the corkers she has been known to tell.
While I was in college and having a rather tough time, Margaret sent me letters and gift boxes full of encouragement. One weekend, they both made the trip to come down and bring me home for a spell.
A number of years ago, Roy became the deacon of our church. He and Margaret also led the RCIA classes in which people attend to join the Catholic faith and those who want to know more about our Lord. Roy also worked for the local funeral parlor. My nephew Zachary passed away hours after birth. Roy and Margaret traveled to Indianapolis to bring him home.
In February 2002, I was asked to sing at Roy’s funeral by Margaret. I was very honored to be asked. Thank God I was not the only one up in the ‘loft. As this was the first funeral mass I was to sing at, I was ill-prepared for the emotion that comes with it. I was advised to not look at the coffin… kind of difficult. I almost made it through but during a piece which was specially chosen by Margaret as it was sung at their own wedding, I did choke up and had to drop out and the other vocalist caught me.
I won’t elaborate on ages but I will wish “Grandma” Margaret many more years of corkers. Her health may be going slightly downhill but I am sure that she will be back in the shop very soon with more tales and wisdom!