September 8th, 1994

16 years ago today, my grandma Nellie – my daughter’s namesake – died. She was in my life for ten years. She taught me how to play the piano, and the harmony to my first of many songs.

Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed.
I had a popsicle ’bout an hour ago
And it went right to my head.
Wherever I may roam
On land, or sea, or foam
You can always hear me singin’ this song:
“Show me the way to go home”.

It wasn’t until later in life, when I saw the movie Jaws, that I realized that she changed the words from “I had a little drink” to “I had a popsicle”. My grandma Nellie had macular degeneration and for as long as I can remember, was blind. She loved Shirley Temple, and musicals. She is the reason that I adore the Pirates of Penzance. She liked to say things like, “oh for cry eye!” and “Oh GOSH.” I don’t remember what her voice sounded like. I remember her just enough. Somewhere in a box in storage pressed between the pages of a book, I have a flower petal from her coffin.

Grandma, I wish you could have met your great-granddaughter.

Me & Nellie Rose // Grandma Nellie & niece Kathy

Even 16 years later, I miss you. I would have loved to have known you as an adult. This song always reminds me of you.