“Let me get you a cup of tea,” she’d insist. “What kind would you like? I have…” And she’d rattle off a list of teas that sounded familiar. But I wasn’t too particular. After all, I didn’t come over to suck up all the tea this side of Amherst, NH. Instead, I was there for one reason and one reason alone: to win back from her what I had lost during our last bout of Hearts. However, I should have realized that: Tous les Matins Du Monde, nobody is better at the game than she. It was a losing battle; it was my destiny to lose. I guess it was just one of those Stendhal kinda things. Even Stendhal probably would have agreed.
It is a rather odd memory, after…oh… twenty, going on twenty-five years. But she and I will always share those memories, be it in Amherst, NH or Rockport, MA she would first, break out the tea, then, offer up some of her prize chocolates, the Chocolate Turtles only for Special people (or so I liked to believe).Next, she’d shuffle the cards or graciously ask if I’d like to do “The Deed” (before she asking How much did I have to lose? That day). Unfortunately, her prophecy always came true. But on the flip side, she allowed me to keep a running tab. In fact, I owe her a sizable sum to this day. We’ll just have to keep that a secret. Besides, as one of her heirs the Bucks would probably bounce right back into my account anyway or at least I hope.
The sheer memory of Gram and The Lizzy and What’s Trumps? makes me want to see if I can still brush out the cobwebs and manage a hand or two of the ol’ game. After all, you never know when a relative will come by and ask what Gram was like. I’ll want to be able to say that she was more than “Just a Bunch of chocolates, playing on the literary reference of Tom Hanks’ Forest Gump.” I also might be able to win a few bucks back that I’d lost to Gram.
If anyone asked how I remembered Gram I’d have to go with first, Hearts…no, chocolates, then, no, no, it would be grandmother. She was THE grandmother. In fact, I can’t really remember her as anything else. She was Irish. Like one of those Angela’s Ashes kinda of Irish. I suppose there are a lot of people who’d disagree, saying she was just another Holier than Thou, Angela’s Ashes “Pot A’ Gold, County Tipperary Irish girls.