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Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grandma Ann

My Grandma Ann died tonight. My mother's mother, she was the last of my six grandparents. She was the oldest of six children in the Tischhauser family. They were immigrants from Switzerland in the 20's. Her father, Ernst, was a pastor, and her mother, Anna, was a pastor's wife. They were poor as immigrant pastor's families can be, and Anna made their clothes out of flour sacks.

My Grandma hated being poor, and she married an Irishman to get out of it. Beyond my mother he was good for little else besides drink, and she moved back with Ernst and Anna and the five other siblings. My great-grandfather never forgave the Irishman for shabby treatment of his girl, and he and Anna raised my mother along with the other children.

Years later, my Grandma married my Grandpa Jim, who I adored fiercely. He was a sweet man with children and a lousy husband. After 8 years my Grandma gave that man the boot, but kept his name and put herself through college to become an accountant.

Grandma Ann was a CPA in San Francisco for 40 some years. She built her own practice by working long hours--I never saw her less than impeccably dressed until long after she retired. Sharp suits, ridiculous heels on her 5 foot frame, hair done just so. She let us play with her old makeup sometimes--and she had plenty of that. Earrings, scarves, broaches, pearls. Grandma Ann hated being poor, and when she got out of poverty she swore never to go back.

Somewhere in San Francisco she met the love of her life, my Grandpa Robert. He was a probate attorney, and the two of them teamed up to build up an office in San Francisco--she took care of client's needs while they lived, and he buried them and took care of the estate after they didn't. They teased each other mercilessly--he'd call her "Granny Annie" and she'd say "Oh Robert" most days a million times. At 5:00 or when the time was right, they had a little drinkie poo to cap of the day. Or two sometimes.

Grandma Ann was a sharp woman with a lot of angles. She was hard to get to know and a difficult mother. She drove down one way streets the wrong way to take a shortcut and she fired as many secretaries and assistants as she hired--that is, all of them eventually.

She could play piano brilliantly, although I almost never heard her play. She was my favorite Grandma, and yet so very distant. She wasn't a bake cookies kind of Grandma. She was hard beauty with occasional glimpses into her complicated interior life. She was so very kind to me.

What a sad thing to not know more of her.

5 comments:

  1. I feel like I know her a little now. I'd actually love to read a novel based on her life! She sounds so interesting! I'm glad she loved you.

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  2. Beautifully written, Katie. Thinking of you and praying for you as you grieve.

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  3. Beautiful tribute to your grandmother. Prayers are with you as you grieve.

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  4. It's funny, in her last few years I think she viewed me as her admin assistant that she'd decided not to fire. ;-) She was a classy lady no matter the circumstances.

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  5. lol she would have fired you eventually, trust! Do you remember when she tried to fire the nursing home staff?

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