So often when you make a new friend it's a package deal. In other words, by extension you become friends with the person's entire family. That's how it was when 34, years ago, I met Chris Ferroni.
Grammy was part of the clan . . . not a Ferroni, for she was Eileen Potter, but she was someone I came to know along with my new friend Chris. I can't remember exactly when I met Grammy. It may have been at one of the kids' birthday parties or perhaps at the lake or maybe at a nursery school open house. I just know that from early on I followed the happenings in her life right along with the rest of the family, especially the big ones, like the losses of her husband, her son, and her sister, and the fire at her house.
After Chris and the kids left the community, I'd run into Grammy at Twain Harte Market, and she would pass on some tidbit of news about the friend I sorely missed. When I attended All Saints Church for a while, we often stood in the parking lot to visit after church. Then when Andrea and Culley moved back to the area, I saw Grammy more frequently at family gatherings, birthdays, and Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite recent memories of Grammy was at music night when she and Fred Gehl would sit on the couch and eat dinner together. Grammy couldn't hear well and Fred didn't remember much, but they both still knew how to flirt. Watching them made me feel fortunate to have that generation represented at family events.
Grammy died on Sunday, October 25. I'll miss her presence. I'll miss sitting beside her in a room filled with noisy people, enunciating carefully so she could hear what I was saying as I repeated some part of a conversation that had sailed past her. I'll miss having an elder who always dressed smartly and made up her face for a party or for the lake. I'm glad she was part of the package when I met the Ferronis.
Rest in peace, Grammy.