Not really the answer I wanted to hear. The question? I asked my beloved husband what he called his grandmother. After some hemming and hawing, he reluctantly spit out her name. No "Grandma Selma." No "Bubbeh Selma." Just Selma. It betrayed the gulfs between him and his grandmother.
She died twenty years before Dave was even a glimmer in his parents eyes. Understandable. But, for me, the revelation was crushing. On the eve of my own mother's twentieth anniversary of her death, I just kept projecting fifty years into the future and hearing Spence call his grandmother "Norma."
So I lick his nose and tell him about how his Grandma NJ used to do the same thing to his mom. As we touch the beautiful flowers in the many neighborhood gardens, I tell Spence about how his Grandma NJ used to grow the most beautiful cala lilies. We cozy up to Grandma NJ's picture and talk to her about our day. She will be his grandmother, not just my mom.
And because she can't pull out a photo of her grandson and brag, let me..