this is a page for

Browsing Tag: grandmother

It Bears Repeating

This is Margaret Claire Hetherington Nicholl. I used to call her Grandmom, but she’d be Peggy to you. I post this picture of her somewhere on my social media every St. Patrick’s Day–in fact, I’ve probably written this post before.  Because look at her. Just look at my grandmom, the west Philly girl sitting at a picnic table somewhere on the west coast of Ireland in 2004, threatening to give me a knuckle sandwich if I took her photo. I survived that moment–and somehow got away with a picture. Luck o’ the Irish, indeed. Sometime back in my early twenties, when I was just out of college and working at a legal publisher in Philly, my poor insecure self met up with my friend for a beer at Maggie O’Neill’s in Drexel Hill. The place was empty that evening, and we sat at the bar. I couldn’t afford to be out, but my friend and I were commiserating/celebrating/commemorating something, so I ordered a pint of Guinness, and was taken aback when the Irish bartender–older than I was, bigger&#8211…

With the Pumpkin, Of Course

My mom skipped a lunch with her girlfriends today to watch Cian in his 10-minute long Halloween parade. She then, despite my not-so-forceful protests, whisked him away so that I could go home and focus on writing (more on that later–let’s just say that this writer mama is working hard). I admit that I got a little teary. It could be lack of sleep. It could be from being overwhelmed. It could be that crying a little is my usual reaction to someone showing me kindness. But as we were switching cars outside of my son’s school, she looked at me: “Do you want to cook with a pumpkin?” I squinted at her. “Huh?’ And she handed me a pumpkin. It was this huge thing meant for cooking, grown by a friend of hers, and my Mom had happily taken it from her to pass along to me. If you don’t know how much I love a pumpkin, there you go. I may have hugged it. And then, as if my day weren’t already made (the little things), she slipped me a bottle…

Suzie the Spontaneous

My mom got her ears pierced last week. She’d been talking for years about wanting to get a second set of holes, but was always too afraid of the needle to do it. I get it, of course–if aliens were to observe our planet and witness us voluntarily stabbing ourselves in the body, all because we think it looks cute, they’d probably pick another planet to invade, like, pronto. Humans are nuts. But as someone who has gotten stabbed multiple times in the ear herself, and in the belly, and really thinks that a sharp stick to the nostril could be kind of neat, too, I guess I’m on board with the rest of the wackos. So stab away, oh strange man in a mall kiosk. I want to be pretty.  Anyway, back to my mom. She’s 69. For my entire life, she has been someone who is a perfectionist, particular. She’s someone who likes to know where her life is going to go and to have her bed made every morning. When I was growing up, the house was cleaned top to bottom every week, and then…