I don't have a first memory of Bubbie. She was just always there. Her house was directly behind ours. My parents had taken fence boards out in between both yards so that we could easily get back and forth. It was incredible to just skip through the back yard to visit. I did more than visit though. I pretty much lived there. I spent most weekends sleeping over and most evenings I was there from after school to bedtime.
I was not the type of child that enjoyed participating in any sort of physical activity like sports. I was more of the silent type that liked to stay inside and create. Bubbie always encouraged me to create and imagine. She made it easy for me. The story goes that she put a crayon in my hand at 18 months old and I never stopped creating. Ever.
When my sole life purpose was to be a waitress, she bought me a waitress order pad and ate countless imaginary hotdogs with only imaginary mustard. She provided blankets and pillows so that I could turn half of her living room into the inside Jeannie's bottle from "I dream of Jeannie". A state of which I am certain, it stayed for days at a time.
I think people sometimes assume that I learned to knit, sew etc. from her, since these things are traditionally "old lady" things to do. She did none of it and had absolutely no interest in learning. (I know because I tried to teach her.) I was always the one who would do these things and give them to her as gifts. In return, she simply gave me the confidence to know that if I set my mind to it, I could do anything in life. THAT is the true gift.
Reflecting on her life now and knowing what I know as an adult, I feel that EVERY child deserves someone like her. Every person deserves to know that someone is cheering them on. I am so grateful beyond words that I had Bubbie.
Who is the "Bubbie" in your life?
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh