Happy Birthday Grams!

There’s Not A Day I Don’t Miss You!

Ruth E. Fox Bishop Wiggins

Today would have been my Gram’s 84th Birthday. I shared all about her in my Sunday’s Blog today. She was a great influence on my life. From raising a family to building a business. She had one of the greatest impacts on my life as a Businesswoman.

At fifty, my Grandmother went back to school for what she really wanted to do professionally — to become a licensed Beautician with her own shop where she could also teach. In four years she accomplished her dreams. She helped to launch the careers of many on the Island.

I learned a lot from my Grams. One of the first lessons she ever taught me, however, was how to bake a cake. Picture it (I feel like Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls!😂) Picture it; Staten Island, New York, in a two-story walk up on the North side of the Island. A beautiful Summer afternoon. I was four years old, spending the day with my Grams. Al Green crooning in the background about Love & Happiness, on a Sunday afternoon. The back door is open, letting a cool breeze flow through her spacious kitchen with the linoleum floors and Formica table with the steel studs. She’s wearing a pair of Ballerina slippers, with a sundress and a kitschy-50-styles apron. A cigarette in one hand and a can of Pabst Blue-ribbon beer resting on the table. She’s gliding through the kitchen getting her ingredients. She doesn’t use a mixer but does everything by hand with a large glass bowl and a wooden spoon. I ask her what she’s doing. She tells me to sit and pay attention. This will be lesson one in making and baking a cake. I hang on her every word; soaking up everything like a sponge.

Her favorite was pound-cake. Pictured is one of her favorites that I’d make her: a Limoncello pound-cake with a Limoncello glaze. I enjoyed baking her things from scratch. She and my moms taught me well. Because of her life lessons, I know how to have a well-rounded life. How to run a successful business. And how to take care of my home. How to be independent, but to also know how to care for, respect, and love my family.

Limoncello Pound-Cake with Limoncello Glaze.

The time spent with my Grams in her kitchen was bonding time, as well as teaching time. I gleaned a lot from my Grams. She gave me a wealth of information that has helped to shape the woman I am today. At her table, in her kitchen; I learned valuable life lessons that I believe young people are missing in today’s generation. I hear so many stories from elderly people that tell me that they barely know their grandchildren. It saddens my heart. So much is being missed without that relationship. And once they are gone, there is no getting back all of those missed opportunities.

What I wouldn’t give for one more day; one more hour with one of my favorite people in the world. To sit at her table and watch her prepare a meal. Or, to watch her at her place of business taking care of her clients, or teaching a new technique to her students. I’m just sorry my children don’t get to have first hand experience with my Grams or my mother. But I will definitely be certain to give them all that I have stored up with in me.

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