Friday, August 10, 2012

Conversation with my grandmother

Today's post comes from a prompt from I have their writing prompts app on my phone and was swiping away, going through my favorites to see what stuck out to me. Then this one came up, and I just had to use it. It's a phone conversation with a relative who has died. I immediately thought of my grandmother (Mema) who died five years ago this November. She never got to know about Sophie, whose middle name is my grandmother's name in her honor. Enjoy, and I'll try not to cry as I write.

Hi, Mema. I just called to see how you are doing. It's been so long since we've gotten to talk and I miss you like crazy still. So many changes have happened since we last saw you. Emma is so grown up. I can't believe she's in high school already! You would be so proud of her. She is a smart girl.

You have a new great-granddaughter, too! Her name is Sophie Inez. She is just as wonderful and amazing as Em was at this age. You two would have so much fun together! She loves having her nails done. She also loves singing, and would love the billboard song you used to sing me when I was little. I wish I knew the words, because it's a great song. I also think your vegetable casserole would get her to actually eat broccoli.
I think about you all the time. So many times I want to ask you about something - tell me about the Hindenberg disaster, how long do I cook a dish or what measurements are used for the ingredients, what do you think of this outfit, or my hair? We have restaurants that you would love and it would be so nice to take you to lunch again.

I'll call again soon. It's nice to hear from you. I miss you and I love you.

Update: Through the miracle of search engines, I found the words to the billboard song she used to sing to me!
As I was walking down the street
A billboard caught my eye
and what was on that billboard will make you laugh and cry

The wind and rain had come that day and washed it half away
And what was on that billboard was what i have to say

Come smoke a Coca-Cola
Drink Ketchup cigarettes
See Lillian Russell wrestle with a box of oysterettes

Meet pork and beans tonight in their final fight
and John Browns lecture on polio right

Simonize your baby, with Hershey's candy bars
And Texaco's a beauty cream that's used by all the stars

Bay rum is good for horses
It is the best in town
Castor oil cures the measles pay five dollars down

Teeth extracted without pain for a half a dime
Big bens are selling now a little out of time

Doctors say that babies, should smoke 'til they are three.
And people over 65 should bathe in Lipton tea
With flow-thru teabags
Cause everything they have sags 


  1. What a lovely prompt. I am going to have to use it and I will mention I got the inspiration from your blog. I wish I had it for what would have been my Dad's 98th birthday on July 14. But it isn't too late; I have the 9th anniversary of another loved one's death coming up August 17. Also, were you aware there are several versions of your "billboard song"? All the versions are hysterical. Thank you!

    1. I wasn't aware, I had actually only heard the song from her! Her version was a little different than this one, too, but the closest I found. Hers went "Drink coca cola, smoke ketchup cigarettes, see Lillian Russel wrestle a pack of castinettes"

  2. That's beautiful. The anniversary of my mom's passing is approaching, and I've been thinking that I want/need to write about it, though I've yet to figure out how to approach it. This was wonderful.

  3. Beautiful. I might have to do this to my Grandpa who passed this last year. So much you want to say, and you realize you can't. I mean, I do speak with him still in prayer, but you know...but thank you so much for sharing!