A couple of posts back, I mentioned that I come from a long line of tough and determined women. While the pitchfork story was a relevant example, I failed to include anything about my grandmother, Rebecca, my namesake (i.e. Janie Rebecca). The nurses at Oak Leaf Retirement Home will attest that she is one tough cookie. In fact, she makes Patton look like a wimp with a better vocabulary.
My phone rang this morning as I was sitting in the orthodontist’s office waiting on Jordan. The moment I heard it, I knew. Something was wrong. It was my mom. Rebecca was being transported to Lexington Medical Center.
While most people would be worrying about their grandparent, my thoughts trailed off into sympathy for the ambulance driver.
I wasn’t far off the mark. When we arrived, the EMS worker looked at us, wiped her brow and said, “She has issues…(dramatic pause)” and it was clear that this was not a reference to my grandmother’s medical condition. Apparently, they had “difficulty” removing her many cocktail rings to offer her critical care. She also gave the ambulance driver distinct directives on where, when and how fast to drive. Rebecca is in a league of her own. No one has ever emerged from a Rebecca encounter with an inflated ego….of that I am certain.
While I have had my own “issues” with her, I can never escape the fact that she is my namesake. For years, I was eternally flustered at the fact that I could not find a pencil with my name on it….there was always a Jane, Jan, Janet and even a Janice, but never a Janie. It left me feeling odd most of my life. I just wasn’t ordinary or common. Difference is a terrible thing to a child. We really hunger for acceptance. This used to be of monumental importance to me, but as I age… I learn how little I care about “fitting in.”
Looking at my grandmother today, I finally acknowledged that I wasn’t suppose to be a pencil or in a box. While I’m hoping for a “sweeter” version of myself in the 90’s, I cannot deny that our family has always done it differently. I don’t agree with Rebecca more than half of the time, but I have to thank her for some strength passed down in the genes. Gift without grit is a terrible waste.