a The Transit Lounge: For Grandma

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Thursday, January 19

For Grandma

When I think of Grandma, there are particular situations I always picture her in - drinking one of the millions of cups of tea she must have consumed in her lifetime, dozing on the couch in front of the TV (and vehemently denying it when caught), during long drives cutting of the blood supply to mum's legs as she would rest her feet on the passenger side seat belt from her position in the back seat, and peeling her apples before she ate them.
Other memories I have of Grandma include her fondness for David Hasselhoff, her beloved cat Tammy, and of course her spoon collection that Dad would try to add to whenever we were on holiday. An activity I used to love doing with Grandma was playing Up-And-Down-The-River or Old Maid, card games the whole family would get in on it. I will also never forget the striking similarity between Grandma's hair and our dog Teddy's fur - texture, colour and perm! On long car trips Ted would often stick his head over into the back seat and rest his head on Grandma's shoulder, while she snoozed. Dad looking in the review mirror couldn't tell the difference.
Grandma was certainly a character for many reasons, and perhaps one of her most 'endearing' traits was the matter of her deafness, which at times was appeared very selective. A simple conversation about evening plans could take a whole afternoon, but the minute something was muttered under breath in frustration, it was guaranteed to be met with a sharp look followed by an 'I heard that'. No-one could ever be too sure about what would be heard and what wouldn't.
Everybody talks about the distinct Lambert sense of humour, and though Grandma married into the name, she was not above partaking in the odd prank. Just last month I joked with her at mum and dad's Christmas party about the time when I was 5 years old and was asking her age. '31', she replied. I asked her if she was sure, and again she had said '31'. 'That's amazing Grandma,' I had said back to her. 'Because dad's 33 and you're younger than him!' I didn't have any reason to doubt what she was saying, and it took me a good while to figure it out.

Grandma also had a habit of describing everything as 'nice' - whether it was watching The Student Prince in front of the open fire at mum and dad's (before she fell asleep) or watching the kangaroos down the beach, everything was nice. Yet when I was 8 years old, Grandma, Mum and I were walking through the reserve at the top of our road when all of a sudden Grandma really let rip with a simultaneous sneeze, burp and another kind of emission. Completely taken by surprise, her false teeth went flying and out slipped a word that was anything but nice.
In one way I viewed Grandma as some sort of matriach of the ever-expanding Lambert family. I take great pride in telling my Japanese friends about the Lambert family, not only about how many relatives I have, but also the fact that we do all know each other on some level and do take a geunine interest in each other\'s lives whether we are immediate family or cousins, uncles, aunts, 2nd cousins and so on. To me Grandma was the one thing we all had in common - I have great memories of Christmas day, Mother's day and just any day bbqs in her backyard, catching up with everyone, playing games, pulling pranks and teasing each other as only we do in our family. Everyone would make the effort to come. For Grandma .So it seems everyone has gathered here today and made the effort one last time for Grandma. I imagine that after the service, it will be just like any one of those parties in the backyard of Morrie Crescent. And I am sure Grandma would think it was 'nice'.


Anonymous Gitte said...

I was hoping you would post this. Thanks for letting me read it out. Everyone loved it, Liz and they all understood and laughed. Grandma thought it was nice too. x o

7:36 pm

Blogger Nathan said...



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