in memory of grandma, the funniest woman i ever did know. happy birthday.


She was the funniest woman I knew and had a laugh that was contagious. And when she found something really funny, she would close her eyes tightly, double over, and gasp for air.  In a recent trip home, my mom came into my room to show me a picture from high school that she found. She started telling me a story, but I’m not sure I ever got the whole story because she was laughing that same way– just like grandma. I Soon we were both rolling on the ground laughing, gasping for air and I still don’t even know what the funny story was. I see a lot of my grandma in my mom; I think it’s where we all got our silly sense of humor– my mom, Kelly, and me.

I called her Grammy Bear– did ever since I was little. She would visit us when we lived in California and so many of my childhood memories surround times grandma was visiting. Of course I don’t remember the actual moment, I just heard the stories so many times from my grandma that they’re ingrained in my mind. I’ll never “forget” the Earthquake of ’89 when grandma thought the earthquake was actually a semi driving by. Or the day I was born when she had to pay Kelly to go to the bathroom. Or the night I was hopping across the kitchen floor and stood straight up. She was a storyteller– and she loved telling the same stories. But it didn’t matter because they were still so funny, even for the 208th time! All of her children and grandchildren had a story– the story she told every time she saw you or introduced you to someone. She loved to talk about her grandchildren and later her great-grandchildren.

at 4:30 PM made all the best treats too. She always had Schwann’s ice cream cups in her freezer or coffee cake fresh out of the oven. Oh and don’t even get me started on her scotcheroos! Grandma loved to bake and loved to snack! That must be where I get it. And I’ll never look at an Eggo Waffle box again without thinking of her. She had one almost every morning, especially when she was later living with us. As she became less mobile, Kelly and I would make her breakfast and lunch when my mom was at work. She would always try and sneak things she wasn’t supposed to have 🙂 Kel and I had too hard of a time telling her she wasn’t supposed to have something. “Why don’t you get me a few tater chips,” she would say. Grandma got what she wanted!

One of the last moments I had with my grandma was one I will always cherish, even though it was silly and goofy– but would you expect anything less? She had been much more quiet than usual and I was having a difficult time connecting with her like I always had. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what to say. Kelly and I visited her in her room with my mom. While my mom took a phone call, Kelly and I tried to engage grandma in conversation. We had brought her a newspaper and asked her if she had heard about the new “Skyfari” attraction at the Henry Doorly Zoo. All the sudden we hear grandma beginning to giggle. That giggle turned into that same laugh we always knew. Kelly and I just lost it and started cracking up right alongside her– even though we had NO idea why she was laughing. I don’t remember how it was she figured out we said “Skyfari” but it then came out that she thought we asked her if she had seen in the newspaper about “this guy farting” and that’s why she was laughing so hard. All three of us started back in. Leave it to grandma!

It makes me smile just typing about all the wonderful memories I got to have with her. Happy Birthday, Grammy Bear. I miss you so much, but will always cherish the moments we got to spend together.


You may also like


  1. Katie, your writing describes Grandma Ray in every way! She was so silly and always joking around. I have noticed Mommy laughing like Grandma too; perhaps we too will inherit the belly-rumbling laugh. The best time we had on Christmas Eve was when you and I would dress up and put on a show while dancing to Jessica And Ashlee Simpson. Thank you for sharing all the memories of her! I truly believe Grandma and Kirby are relaxing in a fluffy cloud-recliner watching out for us. <3

  2. And don’t forget-did she ever show you how she could wiggle her butt without moving her hips? I too remember laughing and laughing til we lost our breath and had no idea what was so funny! And then stop;say okay with a straight face;look at each other and crack up again. Do miss those days. Remember her dried out marshmallows that had been hidden away?

  3. Wow! Memories and moments for sure. Feeding the squirrels. Keeping us kids from jumping on the “Davenport”. I’ve never heard any one else use the word “Davenport” for “couch”. And the food! She was always scheming on what to fix next. She had a smoke detector in the kitchen that was very sensitive and would often go off while she was cooking, and she would curse at it and wave a towel at it to make it stop because she wasn’t quite tall enough to reach it easily. I recall one day when she was fixing us something to eat and she farted rather loudly. That silly smoke alarm went off almost immediately after she had tooted and we both laughed until our sides were hurting. It was a classic moment I will never forget. I always crave scotcheroos, but somehow they never taste quite as good as the ones she would make. Happy Birthday Grandma, and we love you very much!

  4. Kate—I loved your blog and memories of Grandma! We will forever be able to repeat her stories she told over and over! I can’t even remember what on earth we were laughing about in your room during your Christmas stay here–ha!
    Mom would always comment on how I would sit on the counter with my legs stretched across to the other side and lay on the floor furnace. Oh yes, and she always wanted me to show my silly face with my upper lip tucked up. What a fun and loving Mom she was to all of us. She even loved it when all my friends would stop by our house on the way home from school in Jr High just to see what she had made for our after school treat. Everyone was always welcome.
    Thanks everyone for sharing your memories. Colin, I remember the smoke alarm incident as well–Hilarious!
    Happy Birthday Mom–Love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *