I've been thinking a lot about my maternal grandmother. Her name was Elizabeth, as were my mom, my older sister, and her daughter. They went respectively as Elizabeth, Betty, Lizzie, and Little Lizzie!
My grandmother was a funny, quirky, complicated person. She played favorites. Among her own children and among us grandchildren. She numbered us. Of my sister and I, I was #2. I was constantly being told that if I was good, I might someday be #1. As I got older, my grandmother grew to appreciate my sense of humor. This favoritism business never bothered me because I knew that crazy old lady loved me. My other cousins didn't benefit from this knowledge and she was overtly unkind to them for reasons I was never able to fathom.
My grandmother was profoundly hard of hearing (unfortunately, a family thing that I also suffer from) and because she couldn't hear, she assumed no one could hear her comments on other people's looks. So embarrassing but pretty funny sometimes.
As a child, I remember walking into a hair salon with her and hearing her ask for a cut and a blowjob. I didn't realize at the time why that brought the house down but I do now, obviously. She also called the Acme, our local food store, the ackame. She thought if you washed your hair twice it was good because it brought out the "headlights"! She called marshmallows marshmallies.
Toward the end of her life, she developed Alzheimer's disease. It went very quickly. My favorite memory of my grandmother was a rainy day in South Philadelphia. I was walking down the street under an umbrella and someone was walking towards me under an umbrella. When we reached each other, we both lifted our umbrellas and discovered each other! We stood on that street and laughed and laughed. That is how I choose to remember my grandmother. Always laughing. She laughed like a cartoon.... yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk!
If you've ever lost someone to Alzheimer's disease, you know how it steals your loved one. My sincere sympathy to all who are in this position.