In memory of my grandma

The other day I was browsing Netflix's Instant Watch selections and saw they had some "newer" movies on there that I had missed as hubby wasn't interested seeing them in theaters let alone watch them with on DVD, such as "Julie and Julia" and "The Proposal" so I added them to my Instant Watch queue (as I'm the only one that ever uses it) and last night I watched "Julie and Julia."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/00/Julie_and_julia.jpgI'm not going to do a full on movie review of it here, as I'm saving that for my movie review blog - Movie Bits, but I did enjoy the movie a lot more than I thought I would! I've always been a bit of a picky eater and not really that much of a cook, but I do enjoy trying food that has things I like in it, and some of these sauces and dishes they make in the movie looked *really* good - I'm half tempted to get the recipe for that beef stew they made! I also LOVE movies that include French phrases and dialogue, as I took basic French classes in high school and college so it's fun for me to hear the language and figure out what's being said (also one of the many reasons why I love the movie Inglourious Basterds).

Watching this movie though reminded of my grandma on my mom's side who passed away the night before my wedding.

I'm sure if she were around and able when this movie was in theaters she would have insisted me, mom, my sis and aunt that lives out here all go see it.

I have many memories of my grandma, as she lived in our town with us for years before she started moving back and forth between her house here and her house back in Pennsylvania (where both my parents and their families are from). Many memories were good ones, however some of the last ones weren't so good.

Before my grandma lived near us, she used to write me letters and include stories and drawings. She also used to always share and give me Hersey Kisses - those were our thing.

Something always seemed a bit off with my grandma though - she talked a lot and was always sure that someone was ripping her off or scamming her. She became more and more paranoid the older she got and even started claiming her children where stealing from her anytime she couldn't find something in her house. Eventually my mom and her siblings were able to get her evaluated and sure enough, like we had always speculated, she was bipolar, which explained why she could seem perfectly fine and normal some days and then go completely off the handle on others. She had gone without treatment for so long though (most of her life) that during her last few years, the bipolar had turned into a paranoid schizophrenia.

At the time she died, I hadn't seen her in years, as I had been off at college and she had moved back to her house in Pennsylvania and then been in and out of assisted living homes back there before they moved her back out here. I heard she was a lot different in the months before her death - very skinny and fragile, barely able to lift her head. My mom wanted me to go see her one last time, but I just couldn't bring myself to do so. They figured I was still upset over some of the stuff that occurred the last times I had been around her, but it wasn't that. I had gotten over what had happened years earlier, but I was afraid to see her in her current physical state as I didn't want to remember her looking the way she did then.

The way I remember her, well, she looked similar to Julia Child - they both had bright red curly hair, pale complexions, definitely not petite, but LOVED cooking! I remember my grandma was always cooking or baking something. In a lot of ways, they seemed a like. They also both lived in Pennsylvania at some point and enjoyed hats too - my grandma had some pretty interesting ones, including one made of faux bird feathers that I remember my friends always commenting on (it was easy to find her in a crowd, just look for the crazy hat with feathers!). They were both teachers too - in the movie, we see that Julia taught cooking, whereas my grandma taught high school students and one of the subjects she taught was home economics.

I remember as a little kid I would watch a lot of PBS, however I usually turned it off in the afternoon, as cooking shows like The Frugal Gourmet with Jeff Smith and Julia Child's The French Chef would come on, but when my grandma was around, she'd have me leave these shows on, as she'd love to watch them, sometimes explaining to me what they were doing (although it went in one ear and out the other, as I would rather flip the channel to Nickelodeon than watch some boring cooking shows).

So in a way, this movie reminded me of my grandma and her love of cooking.

It rained the majority of the day on my wedding, but they say that rain on your wedding day is good luck; we'd like to think it was my grandma, showering down blessings on us from Heaven. She may not have been there in person, but she was in spirit and memory.


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