My maternal grandparents were kind and generous people. They didn't live in the lap of luxury but they shared what they had and always helped others.
My grandmother died six days after my 14th birthday. Before MaMa went to Heaven I spent a lot of quality time with her. She told me stories about the people in the old family photos which sparked my interest in genealogy. We played cards together and she started to teach me how to crochet before she became sick. I wish she had taught me how to cook. MaMa was an excellent cook. Her food was delicious. I was truly blessed to have had such a wonderful grandmother. MaMa loved geraniums. I'll never forget the day that she gave a woman walking by the window her favorite potted plant. I asked her why she gave the lady that geranium when it was her favorite. MaMa told me that the woman admired and complimented her on that plant every time she walked by and if she liked it that much then she could have it.
My cousin and I often ran errands for my grandmother. Nancy and I dropped off and picked up bags of laundry from the laundromat and sometimes went to the nearby supermarket two blocks away or the corner store for milk. When MaMa sent either of us to the store, we had to walk across the hall to Mary's apartment and ask her if she needed anything. Mary was a very sweet old lady who had a few cats living with her. I liked Mary but dreaded knocking on her door because the smell of Cat hit me in the face every time she opened the door. She was nice though. My grandmother used to look out her kitchen window while cooking or just throughout the day. One day while looking out she saw an elderly woman struggling with two shopping bags as she walked along with her club foot. MaMa sent me and Nancy out to help. We asked if we could carry her bags home for her and we weren't allowed to take no for an answer. We only walked about two or three blocks but it felt like two or three miles because those bags were heavy. That's how MaMa was... helping when she could even if it was help she recruited from me or my cousin. :)
My grandfather brought home strays. There were two dogs that he rescued during my childhood. Sam was a beautiful husky who had been abused and had a bad burn on his side. I remember my grandfather applying the medicine everyday. Sam was very friendly and eventually was stolen. The next dog to come along was Schaefer who was found roaming the grounds of F. M. Schaefer Brewing Co. where my grandfather worked as a truck driver. I forgot to ask my mother about any animals he rescued while she was a child but she told me about Walter.
It was Thanksgiving Day in the late 1950's in Brooklyn,NY. My mother was around 9 or 10 years old and she still remembers her father bringing Walter home to share dinner with the family. My mother doesn't remember much about that day. All she could tell me was that Walter was the neighborhood drunk who had nowhere to go for the holiday so my grandfather brought him home and my grandmother set another plate on the table.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." ~Mother Teresa