Laughing so hard it hurts the other person
If you knew my grandma, you knew how huge her personality was. But, let me take a step back.
You may wonder at the title "Grandma Shep". When my brother and I were little we used to differentiate our grandmothers with the names of their dogs. Grandma Shep was my dad's mom. My mom's mom was grandma misty.
Shep was a black and white mix of some kind of herding dog. He was a great dog. Long haired and full of love. He was a country dog, and he ate table scraps, he lived to be 18.
Now back to my story.
My grandma was an amazing woman. There was no doubt in my mind she loved me, but there was also no doubt in my mind if I sassed her I would be on the floor. She was very old school, but a very good woman.
She told tall tales that all the kids loved to hear. Mostly I loved her ghost stories, but as I grew older I began to appreciate more and more the stories she told about her childhood and my family.
She told of how her and Georgia lee (her childhood friend) used to sit by the train tracks and play paper dolls, and how they would go to the movies with a nickel and have enough left for popcorn and ice cream on the way home.
She told how they used to go to the drug store when they were older and flirt with the boys, but flirting was a lot different back then she would tell me. Which led to You don't buy the cow if you can get the milk for free.
She told about picking cotton and how her brother's fists were declared lethal weapons, and how her other brother punched a tree.
She loved to tell stories about how things used to be, and I loved listening to them.
She had the most contagious laugh that ever existed. It was loud and somewhat violent, when she laughed really hard she would punch whoever was sitting next to her in the arm, and it wasn't a soft punch either. She would bruise ya.
Sometimes we would be having a conversation and she would say something to catch you off guard,things that you would never expect to come from your grandma, and it was then that I think she laughed the hardest. The look of pure shock on my face tickled her funny bone, but she wasn't a crass woman at all, just someone who liked to be personal with her grandchildren. It made you feel special in a way.
My brother and I always fought about who would spent the night with her this week. We actually kept it on the calendar. When I spent the night we would "go to sleep" in her big bed and have amazing conversations about life. When i got tired and nodded off she would say "Sissy, are you awake" to which I would groggily respond, yes. Eventually She would let you go to sleep. The next morning held the smell of eggs and bacon and biscuits and gravy. She was one heck of a cook.
When times got hard at home, she was my saving grace. When I became confused and hurt, she was the figure that stood out above all the rest. She was my calm. She was my rock.
I loved her so much, because no matter how bad you felt, she would always make you laugh with her outlandish stories or her out of character jokes. She knew things that no one told her. She knew just how i was feeling, when I felt like the greatest outcast in the world.
Grandma Shep died in June. It broke my heart more than anyone really knew. It still breaks my heart. That woman meant so much to me. It haunts me that I can't pick up the phone when the world is so crazy. That I can't hear her calm reassuring voice and hear that loud contagious laugh. I miss her so much.
But I know that somewhere in heaven she is probably arm wrestling an angel, and telling tall tales to Moses and Elijah. Swinging from a rainbow and maybe petting Shep.
God only knows how I loved her, and thank goodness, I know how she loved me. She always let me know. Tell people you love them. Hold your loved ones close. Always always appreciate the time you have with them.