I was reading a post yesterday from one of my favorite bloggers, Deanna at My Loves, My Life. She mentioned in her "Now I Know" post, that her mother would tell her about the passing of her mother's numerous cousins, most of which Deanna didn't know. I can so relate to that coming from my mother too.
Only my mother, who has been gone for 5 years now, would also include bits of gossip, marriages, divorces and births of children to people I had never heard of. I would tell her, " Mom, I don't know who that is." She'd answer, "Yes you do." No, I really don't know who that is. So then she would give me directions to their house or tell me how they were related to someone I went to high school with 40 years ago.
She had worked at the Head Cashier in the only grocery store in town, for about 20 years. She knew everyone and if she ran across someone she didn't know, she'd introduce herself. She'd tell this stranger who her children were and how old we were. My oldest daughter Kathy is 56. ( Now I'm older! ha!) Thank you Mom for sharing that bit of information.
I remember on one instance she hired a new cleaning lady to help with the vacuuming and dusting. ( Mom was 70ish years old and deserved a break.) She told me who it was and it really was someone I had gone to high school with. Her last name started with a P and so did mine. We were either in the same row of desks or close by one another all through school. That was my total knowledge of her. So, the first time I happen to go visit Mom when "Mary" is there, Mom tells me... "Go say hello to her." She was in the bathroom with her head in a toilet bowl. I didn't want to say hello. She didn't even know I was there. Mom pointed her finger at me and said " Go. Say. Hello." I went. I was 55 years old and I did as I was told. Neither of us knew what to say to one another, but I was following orders.
Mom suffered for decades, from Fibromyalgia, so there were many days she couldn't get out of bed. On some of these days, because I lived close, I was her surrogate. She would call and say, " I need you to go to a funeral for me." I may have heard the name of the person before, but I sure didn't know them. "Yes you do", she'd say. So, off I'd go. I'd have to explain I was there for Mom. Awkward.....
She would also do the same thing to my daughters. This is what happens when we all lived in the same town. My girls went to the same High School I did. The funny thing was when she would try it with my sister, who had left town at 20 years old and lived about 30 minutes away. "You know Ruth. She grew up in the blue house across from the Post Office and married your old boyfriend "Jiummy's" cousin Steve? You know them. " No I don't"....... "Yes, you do." There was no arguing with Grammy.
Then she discovered genealogy. Good heavens. That opened the flood gates on more people we didn't know. More to the point... people she didn't know either. That didn't slow her down. She would find long lost, distant relatives that she would email or write letters to and then tell us about the marriages and deaths in their families. Good grief. I told her I was waiting for the movie.
Sadly, I heard her words coming out of my mouth. When Rachel (daughter #2) was with us on the last cruise, one morning for breakfast, eggs sunny side up were on the menu. She ordered them. I told her " You don't like those." She said, "How do you know that?" I told her I know her. And I was right. She likes eggs "over easy', not sunny side up. Instead of saying "Yes, you do" - I had said "No, you don't".