Family Ties

Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX Preferred RS152252A

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.




Posted by

Susan C. Mangigian

re/max preferred
117 Campus Blvd, Suite 155, Newtown Square, PA 19073

610-719-1700 main office, 610-299-6237 cell 

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Comments (6)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Susan,
What a fun post. Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. I do wonder what goes on in their heads, like how much they know but can't express.

Jun 17, 2023 08:15 AM
Susan Mangigian

Sadly, I don't think at the end, anything goes through their heads.  My grandmother forgot how to swallow towards the end. 

Jun 20, 2023 09:01 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:


Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as

follows. I would love the follow back. Bill

Jun 17, 2023 12:13 PM
Susan Mangigian

Thank you, will do!

Jun 20, 2023 09:02 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent information.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed week.

Jun 17, 2023 05:37 PM
Susan Mangigian

Thank you Charles.

Jun 20, 2023 09:02 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Susan, I absolutely loved your beautiful and interesting story of you and your Grandmother.  Are you a writer?  If not, I think you should look into it and start writing.  

Jun 17, 2023 08:24 PM
Susan Mangigian

I used to write often here in the Rain and somehow I got away from it.  I just finished reading the latest John Irving novel and got the bug back!Thank you for the kind words.

Jun 20, 2023 09:02 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Susan Mangigian  my dear friend I loved your post and yes hearingly impaired is another hard challenge to add to everyday life..... head a good laugh about the blowjob:))) on a more serious note I understand your point, my father could quote history to the point of annoyance in 1842... in 1645.... this or that happened.... it broke my heart that he ended up with the dreaded Alzheimers.....Endre

Jun 17, 2023 09:24 PM
Susan Mangigian

I'm so sorry about your father.  It is so hard on family to watch this.  Thank you for always being so kind.

Jun 20, 2023 09:03 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dear Susan,

They say laughter is the best medicine. Somehow, for no apparent reason I stumbled upon your blog post and read your outstanding story about your grandmother. You made me laugh about asking for the blowjob, and her other quirky way with words like "headlights," instead of highlights! Susan, laughter came to me just when I needed it most. 

You're an excellent writer. You have a knack for writing "Chicken Soup for the Soul stories." Going through Altzheimer's disease is no laughing matter. But you give heart-to-heart advice for difficult times. Focus on the things that were happier, like remembering how to laugh with people and not laugh at them. Your granny was a beautiful soul who could cultivate a sense of humor without even trying. 

Thank you for sharing your gift of storytelling. It was very beautiful. 


Jul 02, 2023 02:15 PM
Susan Mangigian

Thank you for the beautiful compliment!  I love to write and for the longest time, I didn't have anything to say.  I'm glad you got a laugh out of my grandmom.  She was a real character! 

Jul 02, 2023 02:17 PM