Today was my grandma's ninetieth birthday. We had a lunch for her. I sat next to a woman who described people who had died as people who had "moved up." My grandma stood up to make a speech, which struck me as out of character. She spoke very quietly. She was wearing a dress that her mom made her sixty years ago. It fit her well, and was perfectly preserved. In her speech she said that today was about her mom. She mentioned that a building near her was on fire the day she was born. She was born at home. Her seven year old brother was killed soon after her birth.
The speech was gentle, genuine, and slightly morbid and perfectly contained. I'm proud of her. It's a lovely feeling, being surprised by a ninety-year-old.
More than one person told me that they did not like my tattoos. Their candor was hilarious.