Everyone deals with grief differently. And although it’s been over 2 years since my grandmother passed away, it’s something that is still present in my interactions with my mother in a very big way. I’m been so upset with her about the way she has dealt with it and that’s incredibly unfair to her. But she has just been angry about it. Not sad or willing to remember her mother’s long life and all the great memories that we shared, she’s just been pissed off with no idea how or, what appeared to me, desire to feel any differently.

But recently, she’s started in on a project that I think has been extremely cathartic. She has decided to pull out all the pictures she has laying around in albums, boxes, tucked into drawers, stuck in mirrors, and everywhere else photographs used to accumulate before we all went so very digital and she is scanning them all. I think that this has been a great way for her to look back and remember that there were lots of good memories that she was pushing out of her mind to make room for her grief. And grief is a very real thing, I don’t pretend for even a second that it isn’t. But I think that eventually it should dissipate and what is left are the memories. And getting to that point is going to be differently for everyone. I think about Neena every single day. But I don’t cry every time she crosses my mind anymore.

I think that there is a good chance that, subconsciously, this whole Bad Kitty Bakery thing is a vehicle for my grief and acceptance of a life without the physical presence of one of my favorite people in the entire world. And every time I start to make something (like one of the three cakes I’m doing this weekend!!) I kind of feel her near me and can almost sense her perched on a stool cradling a steaming hot mug of coffee (regardless of the weather) and taking a second to sit back and watch me do what she taught me.

But anyway… blah, blah, blah, therapy speak… how about some pictures instead? I just have a couple for you today but I’m going to continue posting them sporadically (much like everything else related to this website and… let’s be honest… my life in general).

Easter was, apparently, a huge deal in Athens, Tennessee in the late 50s and early 60s (much as I imagine it still is today) and the annual Easter picture was always glorious. Mainly because, at the time, my grandmother owned a fabric store and made every stitch of clothing that family wore. It’s no coincidence that my mother was voted Best Dressed of her senior class, I’m sure…

And this one is from my mother’s rehearsal dinner when she married my father in, I think, 1975. This wedding marked the beginning of my grandmother’s culinary business and her dance card stayed full until I was in my mid-20s. But I’m telling you… I would maim or even kill for that long grey dress my grandmother has on. And my mom’s gypsy-inspired outfit? Yes please. Total glamour, those women.

And then there is this… me and my dad… the show-off. Wonder if he can still do this?

I should make him try because once he did this to me… (I lie. That has mom written all over it. Even my dear old young dad looks confused as to how he ended up with a very ill-tempered and somewhat squinty pirate baby.)

Also? BRAAAAAAAAIDS!

And the beginning of my illustrious 5 minute career as a swimsuit model.

I was much better at the attitude.

I called this one Pink Steel…

Well this went downhill pretty quickly…

(Rim Shot)