Editor's Note: Today's post was written by Ella Numera Dos, to commemorate the life of her Grandmother, lovingly known as "Baba," who died on February 9, 2006. Baba suffered from Alzheimer's for several years. The snap above shows Ella Dos & Rudy the Cat; you can just see Baba peeking up over the covers.
“I want to take my two cats and go home.”
“But where’s home, Baba?”
“Back to America.”
After a little chuckle, the subject would change to how beautiful I was and if I were going to marry my non-existent boyfriend.
Those were the days. Three years ago, while making a mad dash out the door so as not to be late for school, the phone rang. Within a minute, school didn’t matter. In the early hours on February 9, the days of “Oh, Baba” ended.
I was 15 years, 6 months and 7 days old (I only remember this because it was by best friend’s Sweet Sixteen). In my years with the most lovable Grandma I’d ever met, I had some of the best times. I don’t have many memories from when Baba was “normal,” but I never loved her less; in fact, her "Baba-ness" made me love her even more.
I remember the days spent in The Bobs' backyard garden ("Baba" plus "Grandpa Baba" equalled "The Bobs"). Walking up a block to the corner market for a snack. Dinner with the fam around the old dining room table. The birthdays and holidays when Baba made her blueberry pie and lemon cake. Shopping for Easter and Christmas dresses at Pentagon City; dancing around the living room in my new "drat" (that would be a dress, to those outside my family), followed by a nap on Baba’s couch. Those days will never be lost.
Every year, around this time especially, I remember. No more lemon cakes for my birthday, no more trips to the corner market, no more excuses for going into DC. Sometimes I regret the fact that I wasn’t around her more, and didn’t appreciate her more. I look like my Dad; but I'm Baba's Beautiful Girl by heart.