My Grandma

A very special person in my life passed away yesterday. She was one my most favorite people in the world… my grandma. As a child, every day that she visited we always played the card game Old Maid. It was Olz Maiz to my grandma though. “Where’s Olz Maiz, Maysem?” she would ask me. I would run to get it. We would sit around playing together. Just us two and no one else. It was quite obvious which card was the Old Maid, and she knew it as well as I did. When it was dealt to her, she would stick it up higher than the other cards, wanting me to draw it. Sometimes I would draw it pretending I didn’t know while other times I would delay it until the next round. Either way she would chuckle, and as she chuckled her cheeks would turn a cherry red and her whole body shook as she laughed. Her laugh… it was the most adorable laugh I’ve ever heard. She would laugh as if she was crying, and cry as if she was laughing. Not only did she have the cutest laugh, but she also was the cutest grandma. She had an adorable face that was always smiling… always laughing… always jolly.

She loved her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She was a generous woman that loved showering us with gifts… whether handmade or store bought. And if she didn’t have a gift for us, out came the green bills. She would sneak them into our pockets not letting our parents know. My first purse ever was from my grandma. I remember it clearly. I believe I was eight. It was a grey faux leather purse with a bow in the front and a long shoulder strap. I loved that purse and carried it all the time. It always reminded me of my grandma.

She loved bugging me about her socks. It was always “Maysem, can you get me my socks?” or “Maysem, come help me put on my socks”. And I happily always did! The need for me to help her with her socks always turned into a joke. I would jokingly imitate her calling out to me with her cute high pitched voice. Once my brother teased her to admit that I was her favorite. With that same laugh where her cheeks would turn cherry red and her body shook, she would nod confessing to the truth. My siblings didn’t mind one bit because she loved them too.

My grandma was known for her silly antics that always made us all laugh, and to keep us laughing she would repeat the same antics… and we would still laugh and never tire of them. As an immigrant woman, she did at times have her own names for things. For instance, Marshal Field’s was “Shafeeq”. Or Steak ‘n Shake was “Shakey Bakey”. I guess I see where “Shakey Bakey” comes from but still trying to figure out “Shafeeq”. Maybe that “d” sounded like a “q” to her…who knows! That grandma of mine, she just kept the laughs coming. She knew exactly what she was doing. :)

Two weeks ago, my mother received a phone call that my grandma wasn’t doing well and that she should fly out as soon as possible [overseas]. She was also told that my grandma had a request. That request was for my cookies. “What cookies?” I asked my mother. “The coconut cookies.” she tells me. She was referring to the macaroons I made back in February for my hot chocolate party. She never tried those cookies, but I had given some to my mother and it turns out my mother told my grandma about them. I did make a few dozen to send with my mother. Macaroons…that was my grandma’s last request from me. I will always remember that. Even if she wasn’t able to eat them, I just pray she was able to see them so she knows how much I loved her.

As I type this post, it’s quite difficult to hold back the tears. I’ve had several great memories of my grandma… memories I will always cherish. I loved my grandma immensely and I always will. She will be greatly missed. May God have mercy on her and grant her the highest level of paradise. I pray that we are granted to meet again in the afterlife… in paradise.

I love you Grandma Suraya.

22 Comments

  1. October 3, 2012  9:11 am by Hani Shabbir Reply

    Sorry for you loss Maysem! I hope you and your family find the courage to live with her beautiful memories and may God rest her soul in peace..

  2. October 3, 2012  9:17 am by Maha Reply

    Maysem thanks for reminding me of some of the wonderful memories of Siti. She was a wonderful women who will always be remembered. She loved you dearly- as you where one of the favorite grandchildren!

  3. October 3, 2012  9:41 am by Amy of while wearing heels Reply

    You just gave me goosebumps. This post was an incredibly lovely tribute. And, for a moment in time, you brought your grandma to life for me. What a lucky granddaughter you were and I am sure she felt like an equally as lucky grandmother. Tears welled in my eyes as I read that she requested your cookies. What a beautiful memory to have and hold onto. My the wonderful memories you shared with your grandma keep her alive in your heart and in your mind. Sending you lots of love.

  4. October 3, 2012  9:53 am by Aziza Reply

    Maysem this is so beautiful! Siti was an awesome Grandmother, and the beauty of her was all of the dynamic characteristics she had that I clearly see in all of us! Her sense of humor, her wit, and her strength. I know Sity loved you to death, but I thought I was the favorite grandchild, lol (just kidding).

  5. October 3, 2012  10:35 am by manal Reply

    That was so sweet Maysem! She was the cutest grandmother and I saw those cheeks turn rosy a time or two when she laughed. :) You had great memories with her and it's so cute how she requested a batch of your cookies; She was thinking about you!

  6. October 3, 2012  12:01 pm by shirley@housepitalitydesigns Reply

    Maysem....I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so happy that you have so many wonderful memories of her...and knowing that she requested your cookies much mean so much to you....I send you my deepest of sympathy to you and your family.

  7. October 3, 2012  1:00 pm by CB Reply

    I am so sorry. Thanks for sharing the story and the picture. She is so cute!

  8. October 3, 2012  2:21 pm by ColleenB. Reply

    So very sorry to hear about your loss.
    Your grandmother sounds like she was one heck of a fun lady to had known and be around.

    "I know right now
    At your time of grief
    It’s hard to understand
    So I pray that you
    Will find some comfort
    Under God’s loving hand."
    By

    M.S.Lowndes


    The love for her that you had and the memories will forever live in your heart.

  9. October 3, 2012  2:23 pm by sherry Reply

    My condolences to you on the loss of your grandmother. It wonderful knowing you have so many vivid memories of your times together.

  10. October 3, 2012  2:42 pm by Jenn/Rook No. 17 Reply

    Maysem, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of your grandmother. She sounds like such a special lady! I am so sorry for your loss. It's amazing the way this small world connects us all, and I can tell that the love that your grandmother gave to you will continue to grow and spread to others. Bless you, my friend. Hugs, Jenn

  11. October 3, 2012  2:52 pm by Arine Reply

    How couldn't you be her favorite? You were so good to her. My condolences to you and your family.

  12. October 3, 2012  4:55 pm by Leila Reply

    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother, this was such a lovely post. Lots of memories for sure and it's awesome that you and her had such a relationship and that she was such a part of your lives. May god grant her the highest of reward in paradise.

  13. October 3, 2012  10:48 pm by sahara Reply

    Allah Yirhamha Mayse. May Allah fill her grave with noor and count her among His most beloved.

  14. October 4, 2012  7:23 am by Ahlam Reply

    Aww Maysem. May Allah (swt) reunite you two in the highest levels of Jenna inshallah. Ameen. عثم الله آجركم.

  15. October 4, 2012  9:49 am by Denise Aboushoushah Reply

    عثم الله و أجرك I am so glad you have such happy memories of your Grandma. I just hope my Grandchildren remember me so kindly.

  16. October 5, 2012  9:13 am by Rana Reply

    I'm so sorry for your loss. The memories you have of your grandma will help keep her alive.

  17. October 5, 2012  1:56 pm by Karen @ Folk Haven Reply

    Oh Maysem, I am so sorry for your family's loss! What a beautiful tribute. Reading it I almost felt as though I had been honored enough to have met her through your words. May God comfort you during this time.

  18. October 6, 2012  1:22 pm by violet Reply

    Maysem, how beautofully written - Your Grandmother is surely so proud of her Granddaugher and watching over You. We are so sorry for your family's loss. Take comfort in the memories that will stay with you to treasure forever. Ameen.

  19. October 24, 2012  12:07 am by RA Reply

    May her precious soul bring joy to heaven as she had brought joy to you. I'm certain she will.
    AllahE Yarhamha

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