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Pineapple Juice

By , Omaha, NE
The first time I ever had Jumex’s pineapple juice was at my grandparent’s house on my dad’s side of the family. My grandparent’s lived in Topeka, Kansas. They lived in a small house in a nice neighborhood. I rarely got to see my grandparents because they lived so far away. But that didn’t keep my grandma from trying to keep in touch.

My grandma, we called her “Mammy”, had always been a wonderful grandmother. She had long red hair and blue eyes hidden behind wire framed spectacles. She had suffered from a horrible car crash when she was 16. She was only able to get around in a wheelchair, needed breathing tubes to help her breathe, and had to press a button on her throat in order for her to talk. Despite all of her health problems I still loved Mammy dearly.

Mammy was the type of grandma who would send you gifts that she had made by scratch. One time she gave me and my sister each a teddy bear, which she had made. The bears had the same identical white fur, adorable little hats, and had magnets in their paws so they would stay together. The only thing that was different was the buttons she had sewn on. Mine had a heart shaped button, and Erin’s had a star shaped button. Erin and I absolutely loved those teddy bears to death.

Mammy hadn’t always been as caring as she was with me and my sister. When my dad was a boy, his father was out diffusing bombs while Mammy stayed home and took care of the kids. She wasn’t a very good mom because she didn’t pay much attention to her children. So my dad had to be the “man” of the family in order to take care of his two sisters, my Aunt Shelly and Aunt Lexi. I think Mammy felt bad about not being there for her kids, so she tried to be there for me and my sister.

Whenever we went to our grandparent’s house we would play with the two dogs, Pudge, an old bulldog who was blind in one eye and had been around for 16 years, and a Dachshund named Digger. They also had a lot of cats that I would love to pet. Fancy was my favorite of all their cats because she had beautiful brown, black and orange patches all over her white fur. We also got pineapple juice in a can called Jumex, it was so good that’s what me and my sister looked forward to the most when going to our grandparent’s.

When the grown-ups wanted to talk about stuff that us children weren’t interested in, we were given coloring books and crayons to keep us busy. Though sometimes I would listen and join in on the conversations, my sister was not at all interested in what they were saying unless it was something funny. Sometimes when we went over our Aunt Lexi was also there. She once tried to teach me how to play hacky sack, but even though I didn’t do well, we had a lot of fun. Those times at my grandparents were wonderful ones.

But unfortunately, everything must come to an end. After my grandma died we didn’t go over to their house anymore. Grandpa, “Pappy” was what we called him back then, got rid of all the cats after she died and didn’t try to keep in touch with us anymore. Pudge died shortly after Mammy and I was really sad about that because Pudge had been a good dog. Mammy had only been 54 when she died.

Mammy’s death was kind of ironic. The way she died wasn’t ironic, but the timing was. I had woken up on a Friday morning during spring break. I was lounging on the couch when a thought popped into my head. Mammy had never seen our house and I thought that maybe I could send her pictures of my house so she could see what it was like. All of a sudden the phone rang and my mom, who had been up earlier than me, answered the call and went into the kitchen to talk. I thought nothing of it at the time and kept pondering my thought of sending Mammy pictures of my house. Then my mom came out of the kitchen and into the living room, tears streaming down her face.

She told me that Mammy had died this morning. I was shocked, not five seconds ago I had been thinking about her and now I got news that she no longer existed. I cried for hours and while I cried, my mom went to call dad and tell him the news. The funeral was beautiful and no one in the room had a dry eye. Not even my dad, whom I had never seen cry before. That was 6 years ago, but I still miss Mammy. I miss going there and playing with the dogs and cats, and I miss having conversations with her and coloring in the coloring books she got us. But most of all, I miss the pineapple juice we used to drink together.





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