SOLC 22 of 31: Neecy

Neecy, Grandma Bernice, died just 3 days short of her 91st birthday. I haven’t figured out how best to capture her 0 through story or poem, so I thought today I’d start with a list that might help me craft something in the next few days.

Neecy, wasn’t Neecy until my kids came along and called her that. She was always Grandma Bernice to me.

In her later years, she didn’t like having her photograph taken unless her hair had been “done.”

Neecy said, “I’m not a good cook, but I’m good at making reservations!” This was true – we did mostly eat out when we visited with her.

She enjoyed flea markets just as much as she enjoyed the country club dinners.

She lived in New Jersey most of her life, but Florida is where she seemed at ease and at home.

She was fiercely independent – but I didn’t know that until my grandfather died. When he died, I assumed she would too. I didn’t know how she would go on without him. But she did, for 5 more years. She lived alone in her apartment until the day that she died and that’s exactly how she wanted it.

Neecy ran Grandpa’s insurance business while he was away at war. She did this, even though she had young children and had no idea how to run a business. But she did it and she did it well.

When my grandparents were newly retired, they loved to travel and take college classes as part of a program they were part of. I loved listening to them talk about the week-long class and the newly learned knowledge. Thinking back, it was a wonderful model for life-long learners that they chose to take classes for enjoyment.

Neecy’s last car was a red Buick coupe with the license plate HERS on it. Grandpa had HIS. It was flashy and little and didn’t strike me as one that characterized her. She wasn’t flashy like that. But she LOVED her little car.

When we would visit her in Florida, we would want to stay and be with her. But she shooed us away – “Go! Enjoy the beach. Go! Play tennis! Go!” – and so we did. Our visits were usually spent at the beach during the day and with dinner with her and grandpa or just her after grandpa died.

Grandma Bernice was fun and young! She swam and did water aerobics until almost the day she passed. When I brought my kids to see her, she played on the floor with them and marveled at their antics. Seeing her laying on the floor on her stomach with my infant son in front of the full length mirror is an image I’ll never forget.

Neecy was quiet yet warm, caring but conservative and always a cheerleader. I miss her.



  1. March 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    The way you described her made me wish I had known her. She leaves a great model for living life all ones life! I am glad you shared your memories.

  2. debbussewitz said,

    March 23, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I am sorry for your loss. I have found that when something is too close, I can’t find words through poem or paragraph. Your use of a list for later is a wonderful tool that I will remember.

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