I named my grandma “Mamo” when I was two. The way my parents tell it, I called her up on the phone and started addressing her as such from that day on. My sister and cousins followed suit.

When my twin and I were little, she’d watch us while my parents were gone. She had a drawer full of candy that we tag teamed to wiggle open as toddlers. There was always  fruit roll ups, huge lollipops and Ritz crackers for us to eat.

We went out to her house every Sunday after church. She cooked mashed potatoes and gravy for us and also kept cans of black olives for us to stick on our fingers and run around the house before eating.

Mamo gave us different types of candy that we used for medicine to play doctor (the innocent kind) with upstairs in my aunt’s room with her stethoscope. We had play syringes, thermometers and other instruments we’d occasionally insist on using on her.

When I was older, she’d come play outside with us. We’d sit on a blanket and eat baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches and play with puzzles. Sometimes she’d bring her extra wrist watch out with us and time me as I raced to and from the grain bin. She was still able to walk then and sometimes she’d race with me.

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