Saturday, May 7, 2011


My grandmother was from Kentucky, she referred to the Kentucky Derby as "Derby Day".

When I was little she had a box of costume jewelry for me to play with when we would visit.

When I was older she let me wear her jewelry to dinner.

She was not easy.  Occasionally she was sweet often she was not. 

She had good intentions, she was good to me.

When I was 17 I bought a car, I was supposed to pay it off in 36 months, but I needed to pay it off before I left for college.

I worked full time, I played on my tips and used my paycheck check to pay for the car.

I only needed one more paycheck to pay it off and I called my grandmother to tell her how excited I was.

A few days later I received a card in the mail, there was a check in it.  She made my final payment for me.  I did not ask or expect it but she did it.

I worked through college but my grandparents paid my tuition.  I was able to graduate with no student loans.

The first time my mom showed my grandmother a picture of Rob, she asked three times what his nationality was.

She was a Jewish bankers daughter from Kentucky and her granddaughter was marrying a black firefighter in California.

When I told her we found an area that we were going to buy a house in, she asked if it was a "mixed" neighborhood.

It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about.  It took me a moment to realized that she was not being mean or nasty, she was being supportive. She was genuinely concerned, she was being loving and excepting.

She was tired and sick when I was pregnant with Taylor.  She was done.  She did not want to fight any longer to be in this world.  She had lived her life. 

She called me to say goodbye, she apologized that she could not wait for my daughter.  She was ready and she knew it was coming. 

Ray Marie, I wish you could see us now, I wish you could see your great grandchildren.  You would be amazed at what your family has become. We have grown.  We have a good life.

Happy Derby Day,



  1. This is a very touching post. I am sad every day that my grandmother will never get to meet my daughter (who we named after her). I'm from Louisville so your post caught my eye :) Happy Derby day to you too

  2. oh my goodness - what a sweet and touching post! It's so good you had a good relationship and good memories of your grandmother. I was never fortunate to have that.

  3. Elena, are such a beautiful person, and mom......that was a great share, a truthful, beautiful introspection......many things that people say or share are never intended to be is our unfinished business that makes the pain.........our own lack of peace with ourselves.............I hope you have a blessed , beautiful mothers day........say hi to Grandpa...Ron

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. im stopping by from the blog hop! Happy mothers day

  5. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it with us - Happy Mothers Day!

  6. I have tears in my eyes as I read this. Happy Belated Derby Day and Happy Mother's Day!

  7. What a touching post. This is my first visit here, and it really tells me a lot about you! Happy Mother's Day.

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  9. What a wonderful post. So nice to read about your memories of your grandmother. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

  10. What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. So nice, too, that you have such special memories of derby day.